Ganika Patram is known as Kasi Soppu in Kannada, Makoi in Hindi, and Manathakali in Tamil. Botanical name is Solanum nigrum and belong to Solanaceae family. Other English common names are European black nightshade, Hound’s berry, Petty morel, Wonder berry, Small-fruited black nightshade.
Ganika Patram – Garden Night Shade is a perennial shrub and is native to Eurasia and introduced in the Americas, Australasia and South Africa and its existence is recorded in the 1st century AD. Ganika Patram – Garden Night Shade grows to a height of 12 to 48 inches, the leaves are oval, heart-shaped with wavy edges. The leaves are 1.5 to 4 inches long and 2.5 inches wide.
The flowers are greenish white with prominent bright yellow anthers. The fruit or berry is green and turns black when ripe and usually 8 mm in diameter and tangy to taste.
The leaves are considered sacred and are offered to Lord Ganesha during the 21 Patra (leaves) Pooja while chanting the following Mantra: “Om Suragrajaya namaha – Ganika Patram Samarpayaami“.
Ganike soppu / leaves are used to cook side dishes in South India. Since the leaves are slightly bitter, it is cooked along with tamarind, Onion, and Cumin seeds.
The leaves are cooked like any other vegetable in Greece, Turkey, and Indonesia. The berries are used in preparing soups, stews, and Jams in Ghana and South Africa.
Ganika Patram – Garden Night Shade plant is considered to be antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and antipyretic. It is used to treat dropsy, herpes, fever, stomach ailments, ulcers, constipation, asthma, dry cough, whooping cough, mouth ulcers, and tuberculosis. It is also used as an analgesic and sedative.
Ganike plant can be easily grown by seeds.
Recipes using Ganike Soppu:
- Palya (Side dish)
- Haalu Saaru