Plectranthus amboinicus or Coleus aromaticus is a thick-leaved, creeping, perennial plant of immense medicinal benefits to mankind. Also known as Indian borage, Indian mint, Mexican mint, Cuban Oregano and Spanish Thyme, this wonderful plant has graced the courtyards of Indian households for centuries.
While the Konkani people lovingly refer to it as sambraguli, the Malayalis call it pani koorka or kanji koorka. Considered to be an excellent home remedy for fever, sore throat, bronchial problems, gas trouble, and for rejuvenating the liver, both Keralites and Konkanis make tasty, fragrant, hot and savory fritters using the leaves dipped in spiced chickpea flour. Malayalis call it pani koorka ila bajji, while for the Konkanis, it is sambraguli panna podi. In many households, this plant occupies a place of importance second only to the holy basil (Tulsi). As children, my brothers and I used to love these fritters so much that we would surprise mother, bringing handfuls of leaves into the kitchen, begging her to make us those delicious Indian mint fritters. She would only be too glad to oblige. Here is the recipe for you.