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Monday, 5 August 2019

Gwarpatha Ki Subzi / Aloe Vera Stir Fry

Gwarpatha ki subzi is a simple yet very healthy and nutritious stir-fry made with aloe vera leaves. This unusual dish comes from the Indian state of Rajasthan, where aloe vera is primarily grown and used due to the scarcity of fresh vegetables owing to dry and arid desert weather. Fresh aloe vera leaves are first boiled in turmeric saltwater to remove its bitter taste and then stir-fried in oil or ghee with basic Indian spices, little curd, and raisins. This is an onion-garlic free preparation and this gwarpatha ki subzi can be served as a side dish with chapati or dal rice. The dish is mildly spicy and tangy in taste and is ready in just 15 minutes. It has many health benefits but should be taken moderately (not more than 2-3 tablespoon at a time). This aloe vera stir fry stays good for about 3-4 days on refrigeration.

The first step in making this aloe vera stir fry at home is to choose the correct variety of aloe vera. Not all the aloe vera varieties are edible. The dark green bright colored aloe vera leaves with fewer thorns are the best to make this stir fry as they are sweet in taste and not bitter and has a shiny transparent gel inside. So, do taste the aloe vera before proceeding with making this stir fry. The leaves are to be washed thoroughly and the edges trimmed using a knife to get rid of all the thorns. The trimmed leaf is then sliced and boiled in turmeric and saltwater for 5 minutes. The cooked aloe vera is then strained and washed in freshwater. This step removes all the bitterness from aloe vera. Now lastly we just need to stir fry the cooked aloe vera pieces in oil or ghee with raisins, little curd and basic Indian spices like red chili powder, amchur powder, asafoetida, cumin seeds, crushed fennel seeds, and salt to taste. A delicious and very healthy aloe vera stir fry is ready to serve. You can pair this stir fry with chapati or dal rice. The only thing to remember is that this stir fry produces heat in the body, hence has to be consumed in moderation, the way we eat our pickles and chutneys. 2-3 tablespoon at one time is the max you can have this. Pregnant women should not consume this aloe vera stir fry.

Aloe vera is a popular medicinal plant that has been used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food industries for thousands of years. It is also known as korphad in Marathi, Gwarpatha in Hindi and Ghrit Kumari in the Sanskrit language. Though it has been found to be used mostly in treating skin and digestive problems, it is also used as a vegetable. Botanically speaking, aloe vera is an herbaceous plant (herb) and is a succulent. (succulents are plants which store water in their leaves). Let's have a look at the health benefits and medicinal properties of this wonder herb. source
  • Aloe vera contains various powerful antioxidant compounds. some of these compounds help inhibit harmful bacterial growth.
  • Drinking aloe vera juice can relieve from some gastrointestinal disorders. Aloe vera latex has strong laxative effects, making it useful to treat constipation. 
  • It can strengthen gums and improved tooth health. When used as a mouth rinse, pure aloe vera juice is just as effective at reducing dental plaque buildup as regular mouthwash.
  • Application of aloe vera, either as a patch or gel, has been shown to aid in the recovery of mouth ulcers (canker sores).

Preparation Time:5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4-5

  • 1 large or 3 small aloe vera leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1-2 tablespoon ghee/oil
  • 1 tablespoon curd
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder/dhaniya
  • 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds/ saunf
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds/ jeera
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar or jaggery powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mango powder/amchur
  • Pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • Salt to taste
  1. Wash the aloe vera leaves thoroughly under clean running water. Now trim both the edges with a sharp knife to remove thorns. Next, chop them into thin slices.

2. Boil 1 cup water with 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder and salt to taste. Add aloe vera slices to it and allow to cook for 5 minutes.

3. Strain the cooked aloe vera and wash it in clean water. This step will remove all the bitterness from the leaves.

4. Heat ghee or oil in a pan. add cumin seeds to it. Once the seeds crackle, add asafoetida and turmeric powder followed by the cooked aloe vera slices. saute for 1-2 minutes.

4. Next, add the raisins, whisked curd, fennel seeds, and the spice powders, red chili powder, and amchur powder Add salt and sugar if using and stir fry everything well on low flame for another 1-2 minutes. Put off the flame and serve the delicious gwarpatha subzi as a side dish with chapati.

Recipe Notes:
  • I have referred the recipe from here.
  • This aloe vera stir fry has to be consumed in moderate amount, not more than 2 -3 tablespoon at a time. As it produces heat in the body, pregnant women should not eat this curry.
  • The dark green bright colored aloe vera leaves with fewer thorns are the best to make this stir fry as they are sweet in taste and not bitter and has a shiny transparent gel inside. So, do taste the aloe vera before proceeding with making this stir fry. 
  • Aloe vera slices can also be cooked in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles. I have boiled it in an open pan.
  • The cooked aloe vera is then strained and washed in freshwater. This step removes all the bitterness from aloe vera. So, do not skip this step.
This Monday, for our facebook group, #FoodieMondayBlogHop, it was Swaty's turn to suggest the theme for #207th week. The theme which got maximum votes was cooking with herbs #Herbalicious. Swaty who blogs at Food Trails mentioned 2 clauses in the theme that only fresh herbs apart from commonly used herbs like coriander, mint and curry leaves are to be used in making the dish and the herb should be used as one of the key ingredients in the dish and not just as a garnish. By keeping such a clause, she wanted us to think out of the box and come up with less known recipes using herbs. Swaty is a versatile cook and her blog is home to many delicious dishes from both Indian and International Cuisines. I love her writing style and detailed post with stepwise pictures.

I had many ideas popping into my mind about this theme. At first, I thought of making a Thai soup flavored with lemongrass as we have it plenty growing wild in our society. The next thought was of making a herbal tea with holy basil. Here, in Mohali it is hard to source the fresh Italian herbs, so that option was ruled out. The day, I planned to make the Thai, soup, I was shocked to see all the lemongrass herbs uprooted by our society Gardner along with the other weeds. This led me to research more on herbs on the Internet. I found from google that aloe vera is also a herb and finally this aloe vera stir fry won among all the options. I am glad I tried this recipe and my family loved it to the core. Now this wonder herb will make its presence in my kitchen also apart from as a beauty product.
If you ever try this recipe, do share your feedback with us in the comment section below. For more updates and new recipes, follow us on #Facebook #Instagram #Twitter #Pinterest and #Google+

For more recipes using herbs, check out the following from this blog


  1. Such an unusual sabji. I know that aloe vera is a succulent plant and has many medicinal values but never thought it to be a herb. My mother in law eats the soft pulpy part every day and whenever I'm in Mumbai she will give me the peel to rub on my face. Next time will make this sabji for her.

    1. Thanks di. Even I was not aware that we can cook a stir fry with this wonder herb.

  2. Now this is a totally new n unusual recipe Poonam. I have lots and lots of alone vera but the sticky kind. So will try getting around this part n making this sabzi. Love it.

    1. Do share your feedback once you try out the recipe. Happy cooking !

  3. Wow.. such a innovative recipe. I would have never thought making sabji with aloe vera. It looks so delicious and tempting

  4. What a unique recipe, Poonam! I knew of the healing properties that aloe vera possesses, but never knew that it was edible. The sabzi looks delicious!

  5. Aloe Vera sabji looks delicious. I always use Aloe Vera in my smoothie or cooler for it's medicinal properties. But never thought of curry. Wonderful recipe.

  6. Loved this Aloe Versa stir fry.. You have explained the recipe and the health benefits of Aloe Vera very nicely.Very tempting subzi that can be included in everyday meals..

  7. Such a innovative recipe. I use aloe vera in many ways but never cooked it. This sabji is a must try now. I am sure it tasted delicious. Loved the detailed explanation to remove the bitterness of Aloevera.

  8. Very innovative recipe Poonam, very well explained its uses and instructions. I regularly have aloe vera early Mng with dusting raosed cumin powder on it, also tasted aloe Vera juice. But aloe vera curry is very new to me, bookmarking this curry to try it soon 👍