This time of the year in the south of India is when the drumstick tree is heavy with produce. Owing to the fact that this tree grows easily without having to be fussed over , the benefits of including this super food in our daily diet is largely taken for granted. It’s a vegetable that both my husband and I have been taught to relish all through our growing up years. Our children do eat it without complaining as long as it’s not more than twice a week.
That’s the reason why I have had to dig deep into my grey cells to come up with innovative ways of adding it to their diet. It really is a miracle tree that has many curative and antioxidant powers in it’s leaves, flower and fruit. We often add the leaves to our rice , rotis and dhal or eat it plain just lightly sauteed with onion , chilli and salt. It’s a great hemoglobin booster and works almost instantaneously.
If you’ve been a regular reader of my posts you will not be surprised if I tell you how much it bothers me when children are not introduced to their native veggies and fruits. While many of us do stress firmly on exercise ,eating less sugar and staying away from aerated drinks we often forget that the road to growing up healthy is most often paved with the advantages that arise from eating seasonal and local ingredients above all else !
See , that’s why I tell my kid; “yes please go ahead and eat your salami , your BLT or whatever other cuisine that you enjoy…as long as you are downing enough of our country veggies and simple traditional meals to tip the scales”
To make it easier to eat the right foods I thought why not make them understand that one ingredient can be cooked in many different ways. So after dunking these moringa batons in a lentil gravy , a tamarind gravy and then adding the pulp to cutlets and chutneys, it finally had to be turned into a soup ! This year the sun’s rays have gotten infinitely more scorching…that was one reason that I decided to serve the soup chilled,the other being that they love gazpacho.
So the flavours needed to be really simple with textural elements. A simple moringa dish at home is one that is flavoured with tomatoes,onion, chilli powder and turmeric powder…so that’s just the flavours that I decided to experiment with ! The one thing that makes it a bit special is the garnish.All my soups offer a bit of interaction by way of adding toppings and fluffy bits and this one is no different. Since the chilled moringa soup with the crunch of the puffy makhaana was slurped up rather effortlessly, I thought it deserved to be shared. You should try this one. Since this like my other recipes are developed with a lot of care,I would appreciate you leaving me your feedback.
Makhaana for those who haven’t heard of or eaten it before is otherwise referred to as lotus seeds.They are specifically the seeds of a particular type of waterlily plant known as Euryale ferox .
The seeds are roasted or fried which makes them puff and crisp up. These are also the go to snack especially among the North Indian communities when they have to follow a religious fast. They are easily available in most supermarkets and small stores both flavoured with spices as well as plain.It’s a great gluten -free and vegan snack option.
Options for garnish
If you’re looking to up the nutrient quotient another option is to finely chop some drumstick leaves,mix them with a bit of salt, chilli powder and virgin cold pressed coconut oil and brush it on thin slices of baguette. Toast until golden and serve alongside the soup.
A mix of toasted pumpkin seeds and micro greens,lightly seasoned would also work tremendously well.