The lunch menu at home went something like this murungakkai sambhar , sundakkai poriyal and murungapoo varuval. Left to me I would have loved to add a murungakeerai cutlet along with it but fearing protests from my offspring’ decided to save that for another day ! While laying the table ,I wondered if there is such a thing as eating too much drumstick that may compromise health. The elders certainly do not think so. They ate all edible parts of the drumstick plant when in season and ate plenty of it.
This is still one of those trees that can be spotted growing freely and requires little care.Which is probably why we don’t pay as much heed to this miracle tree as we should. What else could be the reason for a profusion of moringa products flooding our supermarket shelves.
We have always used the leaves and fruit from our trees at home but have never plucked it’s blossoms. Since I’m not familiar when the right time for harvesting murangapoo is ,it’s always been left alone to go to seed.
Last week ,our organic supplier mentioned on their list that these flowers were available. Seeing that we weren’t looking to pluck the flowers off our own tree anytime soon, this seemed the best option .
In a couple of days , the parcels of murungapoo were delivered to our doorstep,300 grams in all .The small white flowers looked so delicate and fragile once stripped off the tree.As we got to work ,cleaning and sorting the buds and flowers ,my kitchen helper was rather keen that we try out a recipe that was a favourite at her own home.
It was not complicated at all. A simple tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves ,dried red chillies, small onions in cold pressed sesame oil. Add the cleaned moringa flowers, saute’ for a few minutes until soft and add beaten eggs just at the end. Allow the eggs to scramble, add salt and take it off the flame. Apparently this recipe is a traditional way of cooking murangapoo in South India. The finished dish was delicious in many ways. While it did have some resemblance to an egg poriyal in the way it looked and tasted, it was so much more complex than that. The murangapoo takes on a kind of chewy texture when cooked, similar to that of the oyster mushroom.
Most traditional recipes are a result of seasonal produce as well as nutrition requirement. Many times the way one ingredient is paired with the other has a lot to do with absorption of the right combination of nutrients and also to allow for ease in digestion.The protein from the egg is necessary to add balance to a dish that is otherwise rich in minerals and vitamins.
It goes well with rice, just to squish between the grains and eat with a side of appalam or even with some rasam,whatever suits the mood of the palate at that moment !
It occurred to me that a murangapoo and egg fried rice with toasted white sesame,bits of ginger and spring onions seemed like quite a yummy Asian dinner option to have alongside some stir fried veggies.
For those who like robust flavours , adding minced meat and spices to the murungapoo in place of the egg is a delicious option. Boiled peanuts , crumbled cottage cheese , shredded coconut are all interesting vegetarian proteins that will complement the taste of these edible flowers.
Next on our murangapoo menu is along the lines of trying out soups , chutneys ,maybe even scatter a few into the rava dosai batter ,what say ?!
I can almost hear my brother groaning,”there she goes again,cooking with flowers” 😀