This dish - Stir Fried Moringa Leaves with Garlic is from an old recipe of my mom's. Growing up, she'll make this version with a spiced lentil curry called Sambar. They can also be cooked in a soupy version with thin coconut milk. These leaves are very popular in South Indian cuisine and are called Murungai Keerai. Little did I know that these moringa leaves are a nutrition powerhouse. In fact, the entire Moringa tree is called a Miracle Tree...every part of it is loaded with nutrition.
Moringa oleifira grows natively in South Asia and the tree is also called drumstick tree or horseradish tree. Its leaves are small and round and packed with incredible amounts of protein, calcium, beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium etc. It has been used in medicine for over 4000years. 100 grams of dry moringa leaves contains -
9 times the protein of yoghurt
10 timess Vitamin A of carrots
15 times the potassium of bananas
17 times the calcium of milk
12 times the Vit C of oranges
25 times the iron of spinach
Even the seedpods called drumsticks are also used in cooking.
Here is the recipe for this easy nutritious stirfry of Moringa leaves :
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 bunches of moringa leaves (600gms)
2 tbsp canola oil
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
2 small onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 dried chilli, cut into 4 (optional)
1/2 cup grated coconut
1)First string the leaves from the bunches. This is a time consuming procedure. Give yourself an hour or two for this. [Turn on the music to make it more enjoyable :)]. Wash and drain the moringa leaves. Keep aside.
2) Get the other ingredients ready - from bottom left, sliced garlic cloves grated white coconut and sliced shallots.
3) Heat a deep pot and fry the cumin seeds in the canola oil. After 10 secs, add in the sliced onion and garlic. I added dried chillies for color contrast. Fry all futher till golden brown.
4) This will then be followed by salt, the rinsed moringa leaves and 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook on low heat for 10-15 mins. Stir occasionally to cook all the leaves.
5) After 5min, uncover and stir well. Check for salt and add per your preference.
6) Lastly, add the grated coconut, stir and switch off the fire.