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Mango Leaves

"In this age, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura introduced the sacred thread ceremony for his Vaisnava disciples, with the idea that people should understand that when one becomes a Vaisnava he has already acquired the qualifications of a brahmana. Therefore in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, those who are twice initiated so as to become brahmanas must bear in mind their great responsibility to be truthful, control the mind and senses, be tolerant, and so on. Then their life will be successful. It was such brahmanas that Nanda Maharaja invited to chant the Vedic hymns, not ordinary brahmanas. Verse thirteen distinctly mentions himsa-mana. The word mana refers to false prestige or false pride. Those who were falsely proud, thinking that they were brahmanas because they were born in brahmana families, were never invited by Nanda Maharaja on such occasions.

Verse fourteen mentions pavitrausadhi. In any ritualistic ceremony, many herbs and leaves were required. These were known as pavitra-patra. Sometimes there were nimba leaves, sometimes bael leaves, mango leaves, asvattha leaves or amalaki leaves. Similarly, there were panca-gavya, panca-sasya and panca-ratna. Although Nanda Maharaja belonged to the vaisya community, everything was known to him. The most important word in these verses is maha-gunam, indicating that the brahmanas were offered very palatable food of exalted quality.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 10:13-15 Purport

Banana Leaves

Banana leaves are natural wrappers, long used in tropical locales around the world to wrap food for steaming, grilling, baking and serving foods. Banana leaves are sturdy and keep liquids in while adding a subtle flavour to food. You'll find them fresh and frozen at Asian and Indian groceries. Rinse and dry the fresh leaves before using them, and cut away remaining fibrous stems. The softer leaves are best to use as they're most pliant. To make old leaves softer, try steaming lightly or blanching in boiling water before use, then pat dry.

Bael Leaves

The bael is a medium-sized deciduous tree with thorny branches and trifoliate leaves. Besides being a favorite offering to Lord Shiva, Bael is known for its medicine qualities. Shiva worshippers end their day-long fasts by eating bael leaves at night. The Skanda Purana says that various incarnations of Parvati reside in each part of the Bael tree.

Curry Leaves

Curry leaves are available fresh or dried. These almond shaped, dark green leaves are very aromatic. They are used fresh in preparations to flavor vegetables, lentils and breads, or are used whole or ground in chaunks. Like bay leaves, whole curry leaves may be added for their flavor, then removed from foods while eating. However, they are also a good consistency to leave in foods, and eat whole or crumbled.

Indian Ginseng (Ashwagandha)

The leaves and roots of Indian Ginseng are used medicinally and in various foodstuffs. Leaves are steeped and the liquids used in recipe bases to add great vitality and vigor. A member of the hot pepper family (Solanaceae), this west Indian shrub is used in Ayurvedic medicine for balancing the nervous system.

Jackfruit Leaves

Tender jackfruit leaves and young male flower clusters may be cooked and served as vegetables. Prepare much like a spinach or cabbage. In India, the large leaves are also used as food wrappers, and can be fastened together for use as plates.

Neem Leaves (Nimba)

Neem is highly prized for its medicinal qualities, and Neem bark, leaves, twigs, seeds and sap are widely used. While Neem is not typically used as a cooking ingredient today, it was favoured in Bengal during Lord Caitanya’s lila. In Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya and Antya lilas, we read about nimba leaves being used in sukhta soup and mixed with eggplant.

Taro Leaves

The thin, heart shaped leaves of the Taro have long fleshy stems. The taste is similar to spinach, and they’re cooked just like spinach. Eaten raw, Taro leaves are likely to cause your throat to scratch, so always cook them first. Taro leaves are used in soups, as a side green leafy dish, and as a vegetable wrap or roll.