Commonly called stinging nettle, and Sisno in Nepali, the plant is scientifically known as Urtica dioica and. It is a plant that is largely found in hilly and country areas of Nepal. The plant has several stinging needles like hairs around stems and leaves. The needle-like structure within the plant contains acid and different irritating chemicals. If touched, these needle-like hairs produce stinging acid into the skin, causing a burning and itchy sensation. However, the cooked plant is safe to eat and is one of the healthy foods to eat. It is mostly used as a vegetable to eat with dhal and rice.
Stinging Nettle in Nepali culture:
There is a belief that one must have a taste of sisno in the month of Magh as per the Nepali calendar. It is because Magh falls in the winter season in Nepal and eating sisno can provide heat boost in the winter season.
In his famous Munadhan, Laxmi Prasad Devkota had said: “It is better to eat spinach and stinging nettle with a happy heart in one’s country than to go to a foreign land for wealth “.
Picking Up the Stinging Nettle:
As, touching the plants barehanded causes irritation and burns, use tongs to collect the leaves and collect in a plastic bag. The upper leaves and bud areas are to be collected because the lower leaves are not that delicious.
- Stinging Nettle leaves.
- 2 cups Corn Flour.
- 1 tablespoon turmeric.
- Cooking oil.
- Salt, pepper as required.
- 1 or 2 Garlic Clove.
- Water as required.
- Take a large beaker and place the stinging leaves there and add 1 cup of cornflour.
- Using tongs, stir the cornflour all over the leaves. This is done to make sure the small insects in the leaves can be taken out.
- Boil water in a beaker. The water must be boiled in a quantity such that all the stinging nettle leaves can be dipped in the water.
- Add salt, 1 cup cornflour and 1 tablespoon cornflour in the beaker.
- Add 1 table spoon turmeric to the boiling water.
- Add stinging nettle to the boiled water and stir it several times so that all the leaves get dipped in the water.
- After the leaves are boiled, take it out.
- Take a frying pan and add cooking oil to it.
- Add crushed garlic and pepper to the pan and stir it becomes brownish.
- Add the content of frying pan to the beaker where the stinging nettle is boiled and stir it several times.
- Add salt as desired.
Health Benefits of Stinging Nettle:
- The stinging nettle is rich in many vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, iron and protein.
- Therefore, it helps in blood circulation and is beneficial for patients of anaemia.
- It can also help in breaking down kidney stones.
- The stinging nettle contains several anti-oxidations which cleanses the body.
- Helps in inflammation reduction.
- Can aid in lowering blood pressure
- And many more.
In conclusion, stinging nettle is one of the many health beneficial plants that are found in Nepal. Although it gives irritations when touched with bare hands, It provides several vitamins and anti-oxidation. Cooking is very simple and it is tasty as well.