Often touted as a super food with a host of nutritional and medicinal benefits, Moringa is often referred to as the Miracle Tree and Tree of Life. Scientifically known as Moringa oleifera, these leaves are commonly known as drumstick leaves in India. Native to India and some parts of Asia, this plant that can grow is drought conditions too, is now grown all over the world in view of its tremendous benefits.
Health benefits galore
The small green leaves of the plant are fast proving to be a power house of goodness considering that it is not only nutritious but also a natural energy booster. These unassuming leaves are known to contain about nine essential amino acids along with a host of vitamins and minerals.
It is believed that moringa is loaded with more vitamin C than present in oranges, more vitamin A than in carrots, more vitamin B3 than in peanuts, more fibre than in oats and 25 times the iron in spinach. A rich source of antioxidants, the leaves have amazing anti inflammatory properties as well apart from being a rich source of protein and potassium.
With so much goodness, the medicinal value of the leaves is definitely high. Research shows that moringa has always been used as a healing food in Ayurveda. Known to boost immunity, it is effective for balancing blood sugar and cholesterol levels in the body. Its anti inflammatory and anti bacterial properties helps in quick wound healing and reduce the risk of infections. Moringa is also commonly used to treat skin and hair problem and is a great detoxifying agent.
The tender green leaves of moringa can be used in a variety of ways and given that it does not have a strong or overpowering taste or flavor it only blends and subtly adds to the flavor of any dish. The leaves can be used with pulses to make health ‘dal’, ‘sambhar’ and ‘chutney’. Another convenient way to use it is to dry the leaves and powder them so that they can be added to season salads and soups. Amenable to use in various kinds of cuisine, it is an excellent ingredient to have in your kitchen. I decided to try a simple mixed vegetable rice using moringa powder.
Here is the recipe:
1 cup rice
1 cup mixed vegetables (beans, green peppers, peas)
2 teaspoons moringa powder
1 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon ground pepper powder
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt to taste
Caper salt for seasoning (optional)
Cook rice separately and keep aside
Heat oil in a pan and add the vegetables and saute well.
Add salt, pepper, cumin and coriander powder and mix well.
Add chilli flakes per your taste.
Add moringa powder and continue to saute till there the raw smell of the peppers disappear.
Reduce the flame and mix with rice.
Finally season with caper salt (optional).
Note: the quantity of the spice powders can be tweaked per your taste. You can add any veggies that you like, the recipe would taste just as great with sweet corn, colored bell peppers and onions too.
I used moringa powder and caper salt from Ishka farms. This moringa powder is from organically grown leaves that are handpicked, cleaned, shade dried and packed on the farm itself to retain freshness and maximize the nutrition content.
Disclaimer: I received a sample of moringa powder and caper salt from Ishka farms but all views are my own.