.. says an old saying about the highly nutritious Moringa leaves.
Moringa leaves have a high level of protein (27%), and they are also rich in vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and phosphorous. I had not paid much attention to Moringa till I chanced upon a website that promotes Moringa as a viable remedy for malnutrition in tropical countries. That was almost 6 months ago and since then I have been trying to grow my own tender Moringa leaves and experiment with them.
The first lot of seeds I bought did not germinate at all.. or may be it was too cold at that time. But in May I had a second lot of seeds, and they germinated pretty well. Here is the Moringa bed ready for harvest (approx 2 months after planting). And good timing too as during the rains most other greens are a chore to clean. The Moringa being tall and off the ground, offers clean pest-free leaves for easy cooking.
The first attempt to make a “saag” out of the leaves fell a little short of satisfactory. The leaves were not tender enough and not cooked long enough. The result was a very “flaky” appearance. But the second time around, we steamed the greens a little before cooking and it did the trick!
Here is the recipe:
- 2 cups moringa leaves, coarsely chopped
- 2-3 dry red chilli
- 1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida) powder
- 2 tsp oil
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup grated coconut for garnish
Steam the leaves in a steamer for 7-8 minutes or till they are tender.
Heat some oil in a pan and temper with red chillies and hing
Add the steamed greens and salt and saute for 5 minutes
Turn off the heat, add the grated coconut garnish. Simple, tasty, and nutritious!
If you know of any other interesting ways to cook moringa leaves, let me know! I read that moringa leaves also make a great tea – in fact there are quite a number of companies on the Web that are selling moringa leaf teas. I plan to experiment with drying the leaves for moringa tea as soon as the rains are done.
For further reading, there is plenty of information on the Web on Moringa. Some of my favorites: