Agathi keerai Poriyal – Hummingbird tree leaves stir fry

hummingbird tree leaves stirfry
The hummingbird tree, Sesbania grandifolia,  is one which is medically looked upon as so vital among the medicinal plants in the Asian cuisine. The slightly bitter leaves of this fast-growing tropical tree are considered a great stress reliever. That’s perfect in this fast-paced times and exactly why it on feature today.
The recipe on the August tree leaves is my special pick for the blogger group at Healthy wealthy as is a feature on the greens and their benefits (74th theme #GreenMelaatHW). The topic picked by Poonam is a wonderful attempt to bring the necessary greens in limelight. In vegetarian cuisine, the greens just have such an important role am so glad Poonam picked this topic

Asian presence of the hummingbird tree leaves

The hummingbird tree is valued all through Asian cuisine. Called the Dok Khae, in Thai it is seen tossed in Kaeng som. Significant in the  Filipino cusine as Kathuray, these are other wise called as Australian Corkwood tree or Swamp pea. In SriLankan as karuthumuringai it essentially means the strength providing leaves. Called Agastya tree in India honouring r the super-strong sage. In Tamil it is called agathi keerai. “Agam – thee” as you can possibly split the words, it translated to the fire inside. So surely the leaves have a long heritage in rural medicine.
Just as anything with heritage it is not found on the modern cuisine, but on rural cuisine, where food works more as medicine.
agathi keerai poriyal
Today’s recipe is a very simple typical south Indian style warm salad. The leaves being slightly bitter, the shallots and th chillies add a bit of heat to bear the bitterness and the coconut the necessary sweetness to compensate it all. Here  are a couple of very earthy prepperation with local amaranthus leaves
Scroll down to this recipe with hummingbird leaves. Just a word of caution.. Hummingbird leaves are quite strong on the stomach, have a distinct flavour and contraindicated with any form of alcohol. Also, the daily consumption of these leaves are not recommended at all.Let that not scare you off the recipe, enjoy this simple preparation and watch out for thr rare few bundles you will see with your greengrocer. I will serve this recipe with steamed rice, Tangy pineapple rasam soupArisi Karuvadam – Rice sundries and Leftover pongal vadai- gluten free fritters this week.
What about you?
Do let us know what you think is the best combo with this. Tga us as you make this recipe.
Here are some green recipes from the fellow bloggers for this series
hummingbird tree leaves stirfry

Agathi keerai Poriyal

Hummingbird tree leaves stir fry
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course sidedish, Soups and salad, Traditional
Cuisine Autumn, diabetic friendly, gluten free, Medicinal, One pot, South indian, Summer, tamilnadu, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 4 people


the green element

  • 2 cups agathi leaves (humming bird tree leaves)


  • 1 tsp ghee / clarified butter
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 long dry red chillies
  • 2-3 shallots finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic thinly sliced

for final touches

  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • salt to taste


  • The leaves of the agathi tree can easily be separated from the stalk by just running against the direction of the leaves
  • Wash and clean these and set aside to drain
  • In a wok add the ghee with mustard seeds
  • As they splutter, add the red chilli, shallots and garlic and saute till golden.
  • Now give the leaves a rough chop and add them to the tempering
  • Mix well and keep covered on a very low heat to cook for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Open the lid stir and add the coconut and mix well again. If there is any water from the steam, stif fry till the water evaporates.
  • The dish is ready to be served.


Vary the amount of chilli based on your tastebuds. The garlic and shallots can be omitted if not consumed, it is tastier with them though.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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Poonam Bachhav
4 years ago

Stir fry with hummingbird tree leaves sounds interesting Seema! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful dish with us.

4 years ago

I was not aware of this healthy green. interesting read about it, thanks for sharing the info and recipe of humming bird tree leaves.. Perfect with dal rice combo!!

sasmita sahoo
4 years ago

Garlic and shallots here must be adding an awesome flavour to the leafy dish 🙂 The dish is quite new forme here as well I am yet to try my hand on hummingbird leaves 🙂

4 years ago

I think this is the most healthiest recipe one can have. thanks for uploading. will must try 🙂

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