Parijata, also known as GangaShiuli in Odiya & Night Jasmine in English is Lord Krishna’s favorite flower. Strangely blooms at night and by dawn can be found where it has fallen – atop leaves or on the grass…it is also known as tree of sorrow ,may be due to silent shedding of edible Night-Jasmine like tear drops.
The sweet smell swiftly overwhelms me when i saw the white carpet of these beautiful flowers lying on grass every morning . Oh such a lovely sight !! In our culture this flower is also used for adornment of women ,they make beautiful ornaments using the fresh flowers .
Though i have seen Mom using the leaves to make fritters just like we do for bitter-gourd leaves. But using the flowers come into picture few years back when i came across my blogger-friend Sangeeta Khanna’s article .
I started using them and later i came across the various use of it. While Assamese add these edible Night-Jasmine to fish curry ,many used as a replacement of Saffron. Yeah ,they call it Poor Men’s Saffron. For that these flowers are sun-dried and through out the year when not in season.
Health benefits of this plants are many . The herbal concoction prepared from it’s leaves is very helpful treating dengue and remit-tent fevers.It also works in reducing pain due to Arthritis. It boost up your immunity system very well. While the flowers are helpful in bowel movements and aid in the digestion ,they also produces antibacterial and antioxidant action.
Here how i use them..
Make fragrant water using Edible Night-Jasmine.
Collect fresh flowers ,wash them 2 to 3 times.Now add them to drinking water and let it be for 2 to 4 hour .Discard the flowers and serve.
Here sharing a dish which is truly flavorsome ,creamy delicious rice with goodness of coconut and shiulu flowers. As in Odisha we get coconut so easily ,so i use them a lot. In fact most of the time i prefer chewing them as it is ,it’s a good exercise for your teeth !!
The white petals of Edible Night-Jasmine is little bitter in taste ,so i separate the orange part from them.I have used orange stems here in recipe.You need more in quantity to add color to your dish unlike saffron.