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Umrem leaves are small to medium in size and are ovate to heart-shaped, averaging 7-17 centimeters in length and 2-20 centimeters in width. The vibrant green, broad leaves have a gently toothed, wavy margin, papery texture, and taper to a long point. Umrem trees also bear clusters of tiny white star-shaped flowers that ripen into small bluish-green berries, and the tree gives off a strong, sometimes unpleasant odor. Umrem leaves have a fresh, herbal, grassy flavor that is reminiscent of spinach when cooked.
Umrem leaves are available year-round.
Umrem leaves, botanically classified as Clerodendrum colebrookianum, grow on a perennial shrub-like tree found in tropical and subtropical climates that can reach three meters in height and are members of the Lamiaceae, or mint family. Also known as East Indian Glory Bower, Umrem leaves have played an important role in Asian herbal folk medicine but are also classified as a vulnerable species in India. In addition to its medicinal nature, Umrem leaves are prepared as a sautéed green in everyday meals.
Umrem leaves contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce symptoms of stomach ailments and can help protect overall daily health.
Umrem leaves are best suited for cooked applications such as boiling and sautéing. The tender young Umrem leaves and twigs may be lightly sautéed and added to salads and vegetable dishes. They can also be added to soups and are a traditional ingredient in a fish and vegetable stew known as “mudru.” Umrem leaves pair well with garlic and onion, sesame and perilla seeds, beans, rice, banana flowers, squash, amaranth, and spinach. They are highly perishable and will keep for one day when stored in the refrigerator.
Umrem is just one of the thirty-three names that is known for this species in at least thirty-five different tribal communities of the Eastern Himalayas. The leaves, wood, and roots are all used in medicinal remedies, and nursing mothers in the Himalayas eat the Umrem leaves while breastfeeding to aid infants who are suffering from digestion disorders. Tribes of Meghalaya in Northeast India also use the leaves for skin irritations, coughs, and to help reduce high blood pressure.
Umrem leaves are native to India and have been growing wild since ancient times. Today Umrem leaves can be found in fresh local markets in Asia including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, and Thailand.
Recipes that include Umrem Leaves. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Blending Flavours||Mudru:A Stew Of Vegetables & Fish|