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Know Your Spices: Culinary Uses, Health Benefits of Kalpasi

Kalpasi or black stone flower is a species of lichen used as spice in India.

Manila Venugopal | News18.com

Updated:June 2, 2017, 2:13 PM IST
Know Your Spices: Culinary Uses, Health Benefits of Kalpasi
Image for representational purpose only (Photo courtesy: Getty Images)
Kalpasi or black stone flower is a species of lichen used as spice in India. One of the ingredients in East Indian Bottle Masala, the spice is mostly used in dishes like nahari, Bombay biryani, Goan meat stews.

Alternatively known as daagar ka phool or patthar ka phool, this mystery flower is believed to be grown in some parts of Tamil Nadu and is an important ingredient in Chettinad food.

Its upper surface is dark green or black and whiter inside, Kalpasi has a strong earthy aroma and dry texture. It also has medicinal properties.

Health Benefits:

1. A good pain reliever, Kalpasi helps heal wounds.
2. It helps treat skin problems and reduces inflammation.
3. It has antibacterial activity and is effective against protozoans.
4. It improves digestion and helps suppress respiratory disorders.
5. It tones up urinary tract and helps maintain body temperature.

Culinary Uses:

1. With its mild aromatic flavour, Kalpasi is used to add aroma to soup preparations and also as a soup thickener.
2. It is often used in meat dishes.
3. Kalpasi is also used as food by many cultures around the world.
4. It is an essential ingredient in Goda masala or kala masala.
| Edited by: Manila Venugopal
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