Wednesday, 24 December 2014

A soupy tale!

Grand mothers have a way of explaining things, albeit briefly!

One day she asked me to peel the skin of a few cardamoms for the kheer that she was preparing. Along with peeling the skin of the elaichi (cardamom), I peeled a bit of my own skin at the tip of my finger.

What followed was a whole lot of drama that only a ten year old girl is capable of staging!

My grandmother simply gave a cursory glance and then said this which remains etched in my memory:
“Muththathu Murngapoo mudhugula vizhundhudhunnu azhadhe.”

When translated this means,
“Do not cry because the flower of the drumstick tree fell on your back!”

I pestered her to explain and what she told me left me stunned.

“The moringa or drumstick tree has a light flower. Nothing happens to you when the flower falls on your back. Now go and fetch a few leaves from the tree. But be careful as there could be a hairy caterpillar in the tree. Stay off it,” she ordered.

In a jiffy I rushed back with the leaves...

I disappeared and in a jiffy was back with the leaves. My grandmother continued,
“These leaves are rich in iron and whenever anybody is hurt and has lost lot of blood, a soup made of these leaves help. Even the flower and the fruit of this tree are edible. Of course, you like the sambar made out of drumsticks, don’t you,” she chuckled gently, a thousand meaning hidden.

Then as she started preparing the soup, I was astounded at the ease with which she made it.

At ten, to me, there was none who knew more than my grandmother!

Here is a simple recipe of Moringa leaf soup.
Drumstick leaves – 20 sprigs
Moong Dal (Yellow Lentil)  – 100 gms (cooked)
Pepper -10
Jeera (Cumin seeds) – 1 tablespoon
Salt – to taste
Butter – 1 tablespoon
Ginger juice – to taste
Corn flour – ½ tablespoon
Garlic - 4-5 (optional)

Add butter to a hot pan and add the cumin seeds. Wait till it splutters. Add the corn flour and fry it in butter for a few seconds. Add the drumstick leaves and sauté it with salt. Add water and allow it to boil.

Add enough water to the cooked dal and strain well. Add the dal water to the above mixture and boil well for about 5 minutes.

A healthy and wholesome meal!

Powder the pepper and add it to the soup. Add the ginger juice and the remaining salt.

Garlic can be added optionally along with the drumstick leaves and sauteed.

This soup constitutes a wholesome meal and is very rich in iron. It is a highly recommended dish for children, pregnant women and nursing mothers.

Drumstick leaves are loaded with health benefits. They are rich in calcium, phosphorus, iron and protein.