- Parmotrema perlatum, commonly known as a black stone flower or kalpasi, is a species of lichen used as a spice in India.
- The species occurs throughout the temperate Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
- Typically used in meat dishes like nahari (Paaya), Bombay biryani, Goat meat stews, it is also used in vegetarian dishes. It is one of the ingredients in East Indian Bottle Masala, used for cooking Meats, fish and vegetables.
- This spice is very popular in Indian delicacies and snacks. It has a strong earthy aroma that is released when this spice is tempered in hot oil or ghee for gravies, soups and curries. It has a very dry, light papery texture and feels to it. It is not only used to impart mild aromatic favor to soups but also to thicken the soup.
- The spice gives the signature black color to the Maharashtrian speciality ‘goda masala’ and is a dominant spice in all chettinad preparations like chettinad chicken, mutton kheema kulambu, chettinad vegetable curry, mushroom curry, pakora kuzhambu etc. In Uttar Pradesh it is called patthar ka phool and is regularly used by Lucknow bawarchis in ‘potli masala’
- The spice gives the signature black color to the Maharashtrian speciality ‘goda masala’ and is a dominant spice in all chettinad preparations like chettinad chicken, mutton kheema kulambu, chettinad vegetable curry, mushroom curry, pakora kuzhambu etc. In Uttar Pradesh it is called patthar ka phool and is regularly used by lucknowi bawarchis in ‘potli masala’
- Some of the other names for it include shaileyam in Sanskrit, kalpasi in Tamil, Dagar da Phool in Punjabi, dagad phool in Marathi, Raathi Pootha (Banda puvvu) in Telugu "Kallu hoovu" in Kannada and patthar ke phool in Hindi, "Bojhwar"and "Chadila" in northern India.
- Stone flowers are a very good indicator of the purity of air….they will not grow where the air is polluted!!
- - They help in the treatment of female fungal infections like vaginal candidiasis.
- - They are also used in the treatment of seminal weakness and male sexual debility.
- - They ensure quick wound healing because of their astringent properties and bitter taste.
- - They help to maintain normal body temperature.
- - They aid in digestion of food.
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