Health conscious folks from around the world are raving about this miraculous tree — Moringa. I still remember my childhood days when drumsticks (fruit from the Moringa tree) were cooked as a favourite meal and I learnt some of the most innovative ways to cook this interesting ingredient. Little did I know about its nutritional benefits back then.
Every part of the plant is edible — leaves, pods, seeds, flowers, even its root. The feathery leaves are high in vitamins A and C, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium and potassium. They contain phytochemicals and antioxidants that have been shown in research studies to act as anti-cancer agents, slowing down cell motility and colony formation in colon and breast cancer cells. Interestingly, the plant has the potential to simultaneously treat both malnutrition and obesity.
It’s only recently that moringa has been used as a smart solution to combat malnutrition due to its bountiful nutrient composition. No wonder, moringa powder is easily available in hypermarkets.
You can easily use moringa powder as an add-on to your curries, stews, soups, buttermilk and herbal tea. I, however, recently tried it in Rasam and was quite happy with the result.
And because it tasted so well, I decided to serve this humble Moringa Rasam as a welcome drink in my cooking workshop recently. I had no idea that this simple preparation would steal the show. And before we could start with the workshop, I had to share the step-by-step recipe for everyone to try back home. It was overwhelming. This small serving was full of flavours and whole lot of nutrients.
Do read more for the complete recipe and you can try this super-easy delight as a welcome drink this festive season. Your guests are sure to thank you. After all, festivals are all about wishing prosperity. And what can be a better offering than a drink full of superfoods?
6tbsp – Chana dal (Split Bengal Gram)
2tbsp – Tamarind pulp
2tbsp – Jaggery powder
1tbsp – Moringa powder
Rock salt to taste
1/2tsp – Asafoetida (Heeng)
4tsp – Rasam powder (Read more for rasam powder recipe)
1tsp – Black pepper powder
Steamed drumsticks cut in 2-3 inch pieces (20-24 pieces)
1tbsp – Cow ghee
2-3 no – Dried red chillies
1tsp – Mustard seeds
1/2tsp – Fenugreek (methi) seeds
1tsp – Cumin seeds (jeera)
2 sprigs – Curry leaves
3tsp – Ginger Garlic grated
*Wash the chana dal and soak for good 1-2 hours. Pressure cook the dal along with some water, salt and turmeric for 3 whistles and turn off the flame. Now allow the pressure to release naturally.
*Meanwhile, mix moringa powder with adequate water to form a thick paste. Add it to the dal and mash it all.
*Check for salt, add more if required. Add rasam powder (read more for rasam powder recipe), black pepper powder, tamarind pulp and adequate water. Let it all come to a boil.
*Separately steam (or blanch) drumstick pieces in salt water.
*Now in a tadka pan, add cow ghee and wait for it to heat. Add in the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, dried red chillies and let it crackle. Once they have crackled, add the curry leaves and crushed ginger garlic and turn off the flame. Add this tempering to the Rasam and mix well.
*Let it cool a bit and then add jaggery powder. Garnish with loads of coriander leaves and steamed drumsticks pieces.
*Reheat and serve hot.
Ingredients for 100 gm powder
1 cup – Dried Red Chillies
1/2 cup – Coriander seeds
1/4 cup – Arhar dal (Split Red Gram)
1tbsp – Cumin seeds (Jeera)
1tbsp – Whole black peppercorns
1tsp – Methi seeds
1tbsp – Mustard oil
*Separately dry roast coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds and arhar dal. Roast them until they are crisp and pinkish brown.
*Once roasted, set them aside to cool.
*In the same pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in low heat and fry chillies and set it aside to cool.
*Heat the another 1/2 tablespoon of oil over low heat and fry cumin seeds and peppercorns separately till fragrant and set aside to cool.
*Combine all the above roasted ingredients and grind them to a coarse powder. Store the Rasam Powder in an airtight container.
Health benefits of Moringa:
Interestingly, moringa has seven times more vitamin C than oranges, 10 times more vitamin A than carrots, 17 times more calcium than milk, nine times more protein than yogurt, 15 times more potassium than bananas, and 25 times more iron than spinach.
Known for its excellent source of nutrition, moringa leaves powder helps lower blood pressure, blood sugar in diabetics and is also a sleep aid.
Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative and healthy cooking workshops for all age groups.