Plants with Edible Leaves | Leaves that We Eat

Last Updated: 08.11.2023
Dhruvdeep Singh
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Meet Dhruv, a writer and nature lover from Amritsar, Punjab, who fell in love with gardening during the lockdown. With a B.Tech in Computer Science and over four years of writing experience, he brings a tech-savvy perspective to gardening. Dhruv's articles are a journey into the world of plants, offering exciting adventures for fellow nature enthusiasts.

Want to know what are the most common leaves that we eat? Check out the list of the Plants with Edible Leaves that also have nutritional value!

There are many plants that produce edible leaves with distinctive flavors.  They come with immense health benefits and can be consumed either raw, after stir-frying, or sautee. Have a look at the Plants with Edible Leaves that can be included in everyday meals.

Check out the fastest growing vegetables in India here

Plants with Edible Leaves

1. Spinach / Paalak

Plants with Edible Leaves

Botanical Name: Spinacia oleracea

This superfood leafy vegetable is high in health-promoting nutrients like iron, vitamin C, K, and calcium. It has deep green leaves with triangular to ovate shapes.

Have a look at the Spinach Names in Different Indian Languages here

2. Amaranth / Cholai

Botanical Name: Amaranthus

The leaves of amaranthus come in both green and red colors. This leafy vegetable is the storehouse of calcium, iron, copper, essential vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and manganese.

3. Beetroot

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Botanical Name: Beta vulgaris

Beet greens are safe to eat and have a delicious mildly earthy and sweet flavor that mellows down upon cooking. You can toss it with pasta, cook it like kale, or can also be added to egg recipes.

4. Cabbage / Pattagobi

Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea

This leafy vegetable with a sweet taste needs no introduction. Mildly sweet in taste, this cabbage is mainly relished raw in salads as well. Though, you can add it in sandwiches, rolls or simply as stir-fry as well.

5. Taro / Arbi

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Botanical Name: Colocasia esculenta

Taro root plays a significant role in Indian kitchens, but it is a lesser-known fact that the heart-shaped, broad leaves of taro are also edible and treated like spinach leaves in some cuisines.

6. Nasturtium

Botanical Name: Tropaeolum

Nasturtium flower is well known for its role as a seasoning. Its leaves are also added to stir-fries, salads, and ground into a paste with chilies for preparing a piquant chutney.

7. Moringa / Moonga

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Botanical Name: Moringa oleifera

Moringa leaves are popular for their immense medicinal properties. Rich source of antioxidants, they help to lower cholesterol, improve heart health and is recommended to lactating women as well.

8. Fenugreek / Methi

Botanical Name: Trigonella foenum-graecum

Fenugreek leaves are the star ingredient of methi ki puri and malai methi matar. You can not eat it raw as it will taste bitter, but its bitterness mellows down upon cooking, and its nutty flavor pops up magically.

9. Bathua

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Botanical Name: Chenopodium album

Bathua leaves are prepared like other saag in Indian cuisine. It is a powerhouse of anti-oxidants and Vitamins-A, B, and C. The leaves have a somewhat salty flavor and are cooked like spinach.

10. Coriander / Dhaniya

Botanical Name: Coriandrum sativum

Coriander leaves have no substitute when talking about garnishing spicy dishes. They have a flavorful mix of refreshing, tarty, and citrusy flavors that pep up the dish flavor.

11. Curry Leaf / Kadipatta

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Botanical Name: Murraya koenigii

One can not miss the addition of curry leaves while making a smokey tadka. They are a great source of iron, calcium, and multiple vitamins – hence, they are a wonderful combo of nutrients and flavor.

12. Basil / Tulasi

Botanical Name: Ocimum basilicum

The Basil plant is revered in India thanks to its religious, medicinal, and culinary significance. Basil leaves have a tarty and refreshing flavor that goes well in the concoction, pasta, pizzas, and dips preparation.

13. Celery

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Botanical Name: Apium graveolens

Both leaves and stalk play a potent role for culinary purposes. Many people use celery as a substitute for parsley. Also, its leaves are scrumptious addition to salad, soups, and dips.

14. Mint / Pudina

Botanical Name: Mentha piperita L.

The cooling aftertaste of mint leaves tastes great in Pudina chutney and mojito. Thankfully, mint can be easily propagated from cuttings in containers.

15. Dill / Soa / Shepu

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Botanical Name: Anethum graveolens

This herb features aromatic and feathery leaves that have a citrus-like taste, with a subtle grassy note. You can toss them on salads and soups for rendering flavor.

16. Thyme

Botanical Name: Thymus vulgaris

Thyme has refreshing and aromatic leaves that ginger up the taste of any spicy dish. Also, it gives out an earthy taste with peppery and sweet mix tones but is subtle enough to blend well in any recipe.

17. Sage

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Botanical Name: Salvia officinalis

Sage has oval-shaped leaves with a crinkly appearance. It goes well with stuffings and sausage and also pairs well with poultry recipes.

18. Rosemary

Botanical Name: Salvia rosmarinus

Fragrant and needle-like leaves are an integral part of soups, salads, and stews. Besides, it is used in making essential oils for aromatherapy that have effective results in improving focus and easing stress.

19. Bay Leaves / Tej patta

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Botanical Name: Laurus nobilis

Dried bay leaves are the essential part of the spice rack. However, the leaves are very stiff, so one can not eat them as a whole and they are only popular to add flavor to curries.

20. Oregano

Botanical Name: Origanum vulgare

Pizza topping looks incomplete without the seasoning of oregano leaves. Moreover, you can sprinkle these leaves on salads as well. They have a mixed balance of sweet and spicy flavors.

21. Lemongrass

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Botanical Name: Cymbopogon

The grassy leaves of lemongrass play a starry role in infused tea and mouth-watering curries. Besides, the leaves are therapeutic in nature treats ailments like spasms, pain, cough, fever, and the common cold.

22. Pumpkin Leaves

Botanical Name: Cucurbita

You might have heard about the pumpkin sabzi, but surprisingly, you can munch on its leaves too after stir-fry.

Can You Eat Pumpkin Leaves? Know here!

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