Doddapatre Tambuli/ Cuban Oregano Spiced Yogurt


Hope you all had a wonderful Diwali. We had a wonderful time with many of our friends making this Diwali a memorable one for us.

Things have been pretty hectic at home and work and so I was not able to update posts at regular intervals. In fact I have been working on this post for the past 2 weeks and was able to post it only today.

This recipe called Tambuli/Tambli is a specialty of Karnataka/Konkani. It is a refreshing yogurt/buttermilk drink which aids in digestion and forms a good cooling agent. Usually spices, vegetables or green leaves are added to it, ground and then mixed with yogurt/curd. It is usually had cold or room temperature as is or along with rice.

These leaves are not available here in the US or at least I have not found them here in the Indian groceries. So this time when we went to Bangalore I had requested my MIL to make this and this was one of my favorite drinks growing up. The picture of the leaves is from my mom’s garden.


Doddapatre leaves called as Cuban Oregano are small thick leaves with pungent flavor. Even after they are cooked, they retain their intense flavor. The leaves have also had many traditional medicinal uses, especially for the treatment of coughs, sore throats and nasal congestion.


  • 25-30 Dodda patre  leaves /Cuban oregano
  • 1 Tbsp  Cumin seeds / Jeera
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 5-8 black peppercorns
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1.5 cups Yogurt
  • Salt



  • Note: Make sure the leaves are washed and dried.
  • Heat pan on medium flame and add the cumin seeds, after they are toasted take them out and then add the pepper for a while. Keep aside to cool.
  • Next in the same pan heat little oil and add the leaves to it. Stir them continuously and after about 2 minutes, they will become little watery and wilt. Keep aside.
  • Blend the cumin, pepper, roasted leaves along with salt, shredded coconut and green chillies. Add little water and grind to a smooth paste. This can be treated as chutney.
  • Take a big bowl and transfer the yogurt to it. If it is too thick add some water and thin it out. Now add the blended mixture to this and stir well. Check for taste and adjust.
  • Seasoning is optional; at home we do not season this.
  • Serve with rice, chapathi or have it as is.
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  1. Spice says:

    that’s something new or me……Supriya, as far I know Oregano & ajwain are from the same family & they smell quite same I saw this plant at one of my relatives place in Maryland, they got it as a gift from their mexican housekeeper….I love it’s smell…..if u want u can try to find the plant at lowes or some nursery rather then looking for the leaves. BElated Diwali wishes to U & your family.

  2. Soma says:

    Such an unusual recipe. does these leaves by any chance smell like ajwain? They look like a plant I used to have at home (dead now), but I think your leaves look smaller.

  3. SJ says:

    We call it “Vaamu Aaku” in Telugu (Vaamu – ajwain, kapooravalii,etc; Aaku – leaf). It is also called Indian Borage and it can be grown in US using plant cuttings and are very low maintenance plants. Place the cuttings in water until they root and then transplant them to a pot. You will have to bring them indoors during the winter though but it makes the whole area smell heavenly.

    We make Vaamu Aaku Bhaji/ pakoras with it. They fry into pretty heart shaped fritters and taste wonderful and yes they are good for digestion.

    Thanks for a new recipe. I was looking for ways to use this wonderful leaf without having to deep fry it.

  4. Rev says:

    Hi RC,

    I love doddapatre tambuli. My husband actually found this at a farmers market here in the Bay Area. I am growing it in my patio now and love it. It is sold as Spanish Thyme here. Maybe I can send you a cutting if it will last through the mail trip..:-)


  5. redchillies says:

    Hi Rev, thanks a bunch for the information and that is so sweet of you. I will definitely look for it the next time in the farmers market and also keep an eye on Spanish Thyme :-)) otherwise I will get it from you (of course after this winter).

  6. Mitchel Majera says:

    Thank you so much, this was a good read. I was actually born in Spain (I’m not telling what year though!) but moved around various parts of europe and lastly settled in England when I was 7. I dont remember an awful lot of the few years I was in spain, but the delicious smell of spanish food always seems to get me going or something. Funny, how I dont remember anything except the smells,isn’t it! I even found a website dedicated to spanish recipes, which gave me great delight and thought I ought to share with your readers. Anyway, thank you again. I’ll get my son to add your cast to my rss thing…

  7. Rajani Purushotham says:

    My family loves Doddapatre tambuli. I make it often….though my recipe is a little different from yours. A friend gave us a cutting of the plant and since then we have grown Doddapatre in containers at our home here in the US. It is very easy to grow. The aroma of fresh Doddapatre is so good. 🙂

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