Brahmi Thambli



Brahmi Thambli


One of the easiest way to make sure you are getting all the nutrition needed for good health is to add lots of greens to your diet, pregnant or not. So I am making sure I eat greens as often as possible and these days it’s served everyday at home.

When you read about healthy greens online you will get lots of information on Spinach, Kale and Collard greens but unfortunately not much is written about our humble traditional Indian greens anywhere. There is a saying in Kannada – ‘Hittila Gida Maddalla’ which in English means ‘The plant in your backyard is not medicinal’. That’s literally the case here! While we are all busy trying to include green leaves in our salads and having our servings of sautéed fresh spinach, we are completely forgetting that our own local greens are equally nutritious, if not more!


Brahmi Thambli


Most local greens, herbs and medicinal plants are not extensively farmed. They are never really sold in your super market shelves. At the most they might occasionally appear in your local veggie market but that too only in small quantities. Some of them are wild while the others are seasonal. These are exactly the reasons why they are better for you than the more popular varieties of greens. Since they are not popular and consumed in large quantities, they are almost always organic. Growing in smaller quantities naturally make them a lot more potent.


Brahmi Thambli


One such plants which grows in my mom’s backyard is ‘Brahmi’. ‘Brahmi,  ‘Thimare’ or ‘Ondelaga’ as we call it is more of a medicinal plant or herb. It was always recognized for it’s healing properties by Ayurveda.


Brahmi Thambli


Here are some interesting facts about Brahmi (Source)

  • Brahmi has been found to be very beneficial in the treatment of anxiety neurosis and mental fatigue. It has been found to significant improve IQ levels, general ability, behavioral patterns and mental concentration in children. Brahmi is useful for improving mental clarity, confidence and memory recall. For these uses of Brahmi, it has been widely used by students.
  • Brahmi is also used for the treatment of epilepsy, insomnia, asthma and rheumatism.
  • Studies have also shown Brahmi to possess anticancer activity.
  • Brahmi is effective against diseases like bronchitis, asthma, hoarseness, arthritis, rheumatism, backache, constipation, hair loss, fevers, digestive problems etc.
  • Research has shown that Brahmi has Antioxidant, Cardiotonic and Anticancer properties.
  • The plant is also used for all sorts of skin problems- eczema, psoriasis, abscess, ulcerations- it is said to stimulate the growth of skin, hair and nails.
  • Improves intellect, consciousness, and mental acuity
  • Calms the mind and promotes relaxation – Increases protein synthesis and activity in brain cells
  • Improves memory, mental clarity and longevity
  • Decreases anxiety, restlessness, and senility
  • Improves learning capacity


Brahmi Thambli


Brahmi is most commonly used in an almost raw side dish called Thambli. There are many variations of Thambli in which some are raw and some are cooked. All of them have coconut and yogurt combined with various fresh herbs and spices depending on the season.

Raw Thambli with fresh herbs are common during summer months. The cooling green colour and the refreshing raw flavour are perfect for this weather. This Brahmi Thambli is very simple, once again with just a handful of ingredients.


Brahmi Thambli



You can use coconut oil instead of ghee.

Fresh coconut works best in this recipe. Frozen or desiccated will not result in the same taste.

Use fresh whole yogurt (if possible homemade).

You can use fresh green chili instead of black pepper if you want.

As I mentioned Thambli is made with several fresh herbs. Try experimenting with your local herbs and medicinal plants that are edible. Each one will have it’s own unique flavor and aroma.

In Bangalore, many organic stores and some Mangalore stores sell fresh Brahmi.


Brahmi Thambli



  • 1 packed cup of fresh Brahmi leaves.
  • 1 tsp ghee/coconut oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ -3/4 cup fresh yogurt
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 dry red chili
  • salt to taste


Heat ½ tsp ghee or coconut oil in a small pan. Add the cumin seeds and fry for a minute. Now add the Brahmi leaves, which has been washed and dried well.

Toss everything together and turn off the heat. Brahmi leaves will wilt within seconds.

Grind the wilted Brahmi leaves, fresh coconut, black pepper with a little bit of water into a fine paste. Pour this mixture into a bowl. Add the yogurt and salt and mix everything well. Thin in down with water if it looks too thick.

Heat the remaining ghee in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds. When it starts to splutter, add the dry red chili and turn off the heat. Pour this tempering over the Thambli and serve immediately.





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  • Lakshmi

    Wild greens are fantastic. Brahmi is also known as gotu kola.

  • Sunita

    There has been some arguing and quibbling about whether this plant (Centella asiatica) is the real ‘brahmi’ mentioned in the ancient texts or whether it is Bacopa monieri. now they seem to have settled on Bacopa monieri as the official brahmi but, guess what? it seems both plants have the same medicinal qualities. So I guess its just win-win for all of us.
    I’m glad I found this because I’m always looking for recipes for the plants in my garden. Especially the ones which just take over all the space in no time flat 😀

  • Shoba Shrinivasan

    This one almost reminds me of the mor kuzhambu although thats a cooked version. I love the color of this thambli its almost like a mint dip! Congratulations on the second one Chinmayie.


  • Kiran @

    Looks so exotic!! Perfect summer indulgence 🙂

  • Jayasri

    Love this thambuli a lot, I do make lot of things out of this, brought this plant here and tried to grow, it grew in summer but died in winter, rarely I get them and miss them., such a healthy dish.., beautiful photographs as always

  • Kankana

    I think we call it ‘thankuni pata’ in bengali and Ma used to use it a lot. She mostly made saag out of it! This sounds very refreshing. I can eat any greens as long as it doesn’t taste overly bitter!

  • Sanjeeta kk

    This is a recipe to treasure, Chin…have been meaning to use Brahmi leaves in my cooking for long.

  • Brooke (Crackers on the Couch)

    What does brahmi taste like? It looks a lot like a weed in the States my Mom used to call “horse mint.” I love using wild edibles!

  • Monica Kapila

    Hi do you know if we can get Brahmi leaves in Dubai? I heard this was really good in the form of a hair oil as well, lovely post by the way, would you like to do a guest post for my blog?
    Thanks Monica

  • Anu

    Wow that is one awesome Buttermilk! Do you know where we gt Brahmi leaves in US?

  • Revati

    We make a similar tambli with dill, which I just had for lunch yesterday and have been planning to blog for some time now 🙂 this sounds so comforting and cooling..

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