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Saturday, 22 March 2008

Moringa Leaf Omelette and Chapatis (WHB#125: moringa leaf)

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recipe: T’s Moringa Omelette

Weekend Herb Blogging (WHB) #125
Moringa Leaf (Moringa oleifera)

A few mornings ago, I imagined that my wild yeast starter was all ready to make bread. I announced I would make focaccia with it to go with that evening’s dinner of puy lentils and sausage. Silly me. I should have known this would be a mistake. My failures with my wild yeast are legion this winter. The focaccia dough failed entirely to rise. Not even a glimmer of a bubble. After several hours. So I stuck the slumping lump of dough in the fridge and made another announcement:

(click on image for larger view and more photos)

eggs I would make chapatis with wild yeast (ha) dough the next day, because they’re made without yeast anyway.

Of course, we had to have something to go with the chapatis. We had the most beautiful farm eggs from friends who live on a farm and have free range chickens. We had been saving them to go into a quiche but they’d be perfect for an omelette.

moringa omelette Initially, I thought we’d have green chili omelette. But ever since reading about Anne’s (Morsels & Musings) moringa omelette, I really wanted to try moringa leaves. Here was the perfect opportunity.

chapati We made the chapatis first, just to make sure they would work. And yay!! They did. I love the way they puff up just as they’re finished cooking. We put the cooked chapatis on a covered plate to warm in the oven while T made the omelette.

Here’s what he did:

T’s Moringa Omelette
revised 26 March 2008

  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 green chillies (Thai chillies, chopped in small rings)
  • moringa leaves, washed and chopped coarsely
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • pepper and salt to taste
  • coriander leaves (aka cilantro) to garnish

Preparation
I am assuming that you already know how to make an omelette…

  1. In an omelette pan, sauté onions and moringa leaves in oil until the onions are just starting to caramelize. Add moringa leaves and cook until they are beginning to be soft and fragrant. until the onions are just starting to caramelize.
  2. Add chillies and sauté for about half a minute.
  3. Pour eggs into pan and cook until done. Fold in half.

Garnish with coriander leaf. Serve immediately with chapatis and coffee.

The verdict? I love moringa leaves in an omelette!! I’m so glad we finally tried this! Thanks to Kalyn and all the Weekend Herb Bloggers who have featured moringa leaves for this wonderful new ingredient.

And the chapatis? What a brilliant save!! The chapatis tasted faintly sour but they were absolutely wonderful. Especially when you consider that the dough might have been baked into spectacularly terrible focaccia.

Weekend Herb Blogging (WHB) #125
Moringa Leaf (Moringa oleifera)

weekend herb blogging - © kalyns kitchen

moringa leaves This may be the first time we’ve tried moringa leaves, but it is not the first time that they have been featured for WHB. That’s what I really like about this event and the internet. There is a wealth of knowledge out there right at my fingertips. And Kalyn has made it easier to sort through the colossal amount of information!

When I saw moringa leaf once again on Morsels and Musings, I knew we had to try it. We headed over to our nearby Indian grocer and asked if he carried drumstick leaves. Alas no. He said we should try the Sri Lankan grocer down the street. Frankly, we had never even noticed that there WAS a Sri Lankan grocery store down the street! Off we headed in that direction. And we’re so glad we did.

They did indeed carry drumstick leaves. And the clerk was very friendly, asking us what we wanted to do with the leaves.

Clerk: You’re cooking leaves with eggs?

We: Yes.

Clerk: You must blind them first.

We: Blind them?

Clerk: Yes, blind them [mimics mortar and pestle motion]

We: Oh!! Grind them!

Clerk: Yes, yes, yes. Blind them.

So we crushed the leaves a little before frying them to help release their flavour…

Moringa has over 100 names. And judging from the information at “Trees for Life”, it is the miracle plant, absolutely bursting with nutrients. They suggest choosing dark green leaves and to cook them as you would any green leafy vegetable.

excerpt from Wikipedia:

[Moringa leaves are] a significant source of beta-carotene, Vitamin C, protein, iron and potassium. The leaves are cooked and used like spinach. In addition to being used fresh as a substitute for spinach, its leaves are commonly dried and crushed into a powder, and used in soups and sauces.

Moringa is also called Sajna, Suragavo, Munaga, Sahijna, Sarinjna, Segra, Shajmah, Shajna, Nuggekai, Nuggekodu, Sigru, Moringa, Muringa, Sujna, Shevga, Munigha, Sajina, Sanjina, Soanjana, Shigru, Shobhanjana, Sobhan jana, Murungai, Murunkak-kai, Munaga, Mulaga, Sajana. And those are just the names for it in India! Two of the English names for it are “Drumstick Tree” and “Horseradish Tree”.

I do find it hard to believe that is sometimes called “Horseradish Tree” though. To me the leaf tastes more like spinach than anything hot.

The Moringa tree is relatively tall in its native habitat but apparently, a stem can be rooted and it will grow in a pot. I’m going to try it! So what if it’s one more pot to have to move inside for the winter and outside for the summer. It would be too cool to have a little Moringa tree in our herb garden!

Read more about moringa leaf:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WHB is on the road again and this week’s host is Katie (Thyme for Cooking). The deadline for entering WHB#125 is Sunday 23 March 2008 at 15:00, Utah time (GMT-7). For complete details on how to participate in Weekend Herb Blogging, please see the following:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We had more than enough leaves for our omelette, even after trimming the bottom of one branch to try to root it. The next day, I put the extra leaves into chickpea curry that T made. Very pretty!! Tasty too…. :-) (Remind me to rave about the chickpea curry!)

 
This post is partially mirrored on The Fresh Loaf.

edit 24 March 2008: Katie has posted the roundup. As usual, there are some fabulous looking recipes from my fellow Weekend Herb Bloggers. Take a look:

 

11 Comments for Moringa Leaf Omelette and Chapatis (WHB#125: moringa leaf)” »

  1. Comment by Susan — 22 March 2008 @ 13:47 EDT

    Yet another new (to me) ingredient! Another thing for me to keep my eyes open for, or go in search of. Thanks for the intro. And nice save on the chapatis!

  2. Comment by Kalyn — 22 March 2008 @ 14:35 EDT

    What a great post! I’ve been fascinated by these too, ever since Vijay from My Dhaba wrote about them for WHB #4! And I agree completely about how fun it is to learn new things this way.

  3. Comment by katie — 22 March 2008 @ 16:47 EDT

    Fantastic!
    Unfortunately, in our little corner of France we have no Indian, Sri Lankan or even Chinese grocery….
    Basically, if it’s not French we don’t get it… Although in the larger cities there will be Viet Namese…
    But, at least if I see it I’ll no what it is…
    I love what you did with the bread! I have an ‘iffy’ starter right now. Great idea!

  4. Comment by ejm — 22 March 2008 @ 18:43 EDT

    There are zillians of names for this leaf, Katie. The French names are Ben ailé, Benzolive, Moringa, Ben oléifere, Arbre radis du cheval. And it’s called Chùm Ngây in Vietnamese. The tree is grown in Africa and South America as well. Perhaps this list of names will help with your search for moringa:

    Thank you Susan, I was VERY proud of myself for thinking of using the dough for chapatis. I just couldn’t bear to throw it away and knew that it was courting disaster to add baking powder or eggs to it to try to make biscuits.

    I don’t think I can ever thank you enough for keeping this event going, Kalyn. It really is fantastic. I hope you get a chance to give these little leaves a try too. Frankly, their flavour isn’t all that different from spinach but it is so cool that they are so high in nutrients!

  5. Comment by Laurie Constantino — 24 March 2008 @ 19:55 EDT

    Alas, no Indian groceries in Alaska which is sad because I would really like to try this. It sounds very interesting!

  6. Comment by ejm — 25 March 2008 @ 11:14 EDT

    Because the tree grows in other parts of Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean, might there be a possibility that it is available in other kinds of ethnic stores, Laurie? There MUST be some stores selling ethnic ingredients in Alaska….

    It’s called Palo de Tambor and Palo Jeringa in Cuba. Take a look at
    http://treesforlife.org/our-work/our-initiatives/moringa/names-of-moringa
    to see its many other names.

    I gather that dried moringa leaves are available via the internet but I have no idea what sort of flavour they would have.

  7. Comment by Anna — 30 March 2008 @ 22:56 EDT

    glad to see you liked it! this recipe has really gone from one blogger to another. that’s great!

    edit 31 March 2008: How could we not like it, Anna? I too think it’s so cool that Kalyn’s event has spread this wonderful dish around. -Elizabeth

  8. Pingback by Unexpected Finds: Moringa « Women Not Dabbling In Normal — 15 October 2008 @ 07:20 EDT

    Jack and I [... went to a ...] global sustainability demonstration farm called ECHO. We were too late for the tours, and only got a glimpse of what lay behind the roped off areas shrouded by glorious stands of native trees and test clumps of bamboos. But we did find the bookstore and reading room, and as soon as we walked in, I could just about hear the angels singing. [...] One of the things we were excited to note during our Book Glut Free-for-all was more than one book on the subject of a particular subtropical tree, Moringa oleifera. Our hearts skipped a beat…this is a tree we had researched earlier in the year and, with some difficulty, finally found a supplier. We went on a day trip a few months back just to purchase one — as an experiement. [...] to learn more about Moringa, for those who might be interested: [...] http://etherwork.net/blog/?p=520 [...]

  9. Comment by salah abdoun — 21 May 2009 @ 14:26 EDT

    can i make flour ofand add moringa powder to it say millet flour plus soya flour plus moringa leaf powder and give to pleaple to make bred or mix with water or milk ofcourse the millet and soya flour will be roasted please advice and what is the shelf life thank you

    I’m not at all familiar with moringa powder and have only used moringa leaves. So, I do not know the answer to your questions, although I can’t see why you couldn’t do this. No idea if it would extend the shelf life. Your best bet may be to google for a site that sells Moringa powder. -Elizabeth

  10. Pingback by Weekend Herb Blogging # 125: The Recap! - Thyme for Cooking Kitchen — 27 April 2013 @ 14:48 EDT

    [...] From the frozen north (Toronto, Canada), Elizabeth, of blog from OUR kitchen, has made a Moringa Leaf Omelet with Chapatis. [...]

  11. Pingback by Weekend Herb Blogging # 125: The Recap! - Thyme for Cooking, Blog — 28 April 2013 @ 12:49 EDT

    [...] From the frozen north (Toronto, Canada), Elizabeth, of blog from OUR kitchen, has made a Moringa Leaf Omelet with Chapatis. [...]

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