The West has done it again. They’ve taken yet another food that’s originated in our humble backyards and elevated it to superstar status. We’re not complaining though, we’re just jumping on to the bandwagon and (hopefully) making a louder noise instead. What are we talking about here? Moringa! If you’re wondering what that is, it’s just the humble drumstick that our grandmas and their great-grandmas have been cooking with since the dawn of time.
While the West is now extolling the virtues of moringa and pegging it as the new superfood, we in India have been quietly cooking with it in various ways. From drumstick pods being boiled along with dals for the South-Indian staple sambar, to adding the leaves in vegetables side dishes, we’ve been doing it all. Thanks to the renewed interest in what is known as the ‘miracle tree’, we’re at least waking up to the fact that moringa is right up there when it comes to being a nutrient-rich superfood. It’s said to contain 25 times the amount of iron as spinach and seven times the amount of vitamin C as compared to oranges. It also contains more vitamin A than carrots, more B vitamins as compared to peanuts, is higher in calcium and protein than milk and yogurt), and also more potassium-rich than bananas.
Apart from cooking, moringa can also be consumed in a variety of interesting ways. You can either add the dried powder to your shakes, juices and smoothies for extra antioxidants or even swallow it in capsules. You can steep dried moringa leaves in hot water and drink it as an infusion or tea, or you can buy the easily available moringa teabags online or at your local supermarkets.
So now that you know that the humble drumstick can be used as more than just an ingredient in sambar, go on and get your antioxidant and nutrient fix from this newest kid on the superfood block.
1. Add to soups, dal or sambar, vegetable stock.
2. Cook along with potato, pumpkin or other veggies of your choice.
3. Add to juices, smoothies and shakes.