Moringa (aka Drumstick Leaves) Stir-Fry
OK, fresh moringa (drumstick leaves) is arguably not the easiest thing to find in London. That should tell you a fair bit about the lengths I will go to for something I like!
It took a 40 minutes commute (and 40 minutes back) to my favourite grocer to stock up on hard-to-find veggies and spices, but it was totally worth it 😅
Moringa is one of those supposedly "newly-discovered” superfoods that our ancestors have actually been using for centuries.
With the huge bunch I bought I made various dishes, my favourite being this very simple stir-fry. I’d say the most time consuming part of making it was removing the leaves from the stems - it takes a while but I find the process quite relaxing and don’t mind at all.
Give it a try!
250g moringa leaves (this is the weight with stems - after removing the stems you should be left with approx 150g of leaves)
1/2 cup yellow split gram (moong dal) - soaked overnight
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut (you can use desiccated coconut too, though fresh will definitely give it a much better flavour and texture)
1/3 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp coconut oil (or regular, unflavoured oil if you don’t have coconut)
1 tsp mustard seeds
2-3 dried red chillies
Salt to taste
A squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
Heat the oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and red chillies. Fry until the mustard seeds crackle.
(Note: Some recipes I saw boil the lentils in water before adding to the curry. But I think yellow split gram usually cooks very quickly and if you soak it overnight you can just add it to the pan directly. I also prefer it this way so it doesn’t become mushy and holds a bit of bite)
Add the lentils and turmeric to the pan along with a few splashes of water. Cook on a medium-high flame for a few minutes until the lentils are nearly done. You can add water as needed but let it evaporate before adding the remaining ingredients.
Add the moringa leaves, the salt and coconut stir-fry for another 3-4 minutes. Switch off the flame and squeeze some lemon before serving.