Thursday, June 29, 2017

8 health benefits of moringa leaf powder and a recipe of baby potatoes stir fried with moringa powder


We have been using moringa or drumstick leaves forever, having a huge tree of drumsticks in the front garden helps. We can pluck some moringa leaves or flowers anytime and add them to our egg scrambles, chutneys or curries. 

I have been working on some recipes with moringa leaves and I realised it is a good idea to stock some moringa leaf powder for convenient and versatile usage. So a few months ago I asked my Mali (garden helper) to pluck a large bundle of leaves to sun dry and I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to make the moringa powder at home.


I will share the method of drying and powdering the moringa leaves on request if you want.

The health benefits of moringa leaf powder are numerous, making it a cheap and easily available super food. I suggest everyone should have a moringa tree growing in the backyard or even roadsides, the tree grows well even in large pots on terraces and balconies too.

Here are the 8 reasons you should grow moringa tree and use moringa leaves, either fresh or powdered.
  1. Moringa leaves are rich in proteins, Calcium and Iron and can be included in everyday meals as a great tonic food. 
  2. Moringa leaves help manage a healthy lipid and cholesterol profile, great for cardiovascular health.
  3. Moringa leaves are known to boost immunity from viral infections. The leaves were fed to everyone in older days during changing seasons when chicken pox used to be prevalent, many tribal communities have used the leaves as an immunity booster.
  4. The Vitamins A and C are found in generous amounts especially in the moringa leaf powder, make it a potent antioxidant. It is great for skin and hair when consumed along with some healthy fats like ghee and butter.
  5. Moringa leaves are anti-inflammatory too, traditionally used to treat joint pains and even to heal fractures. Great for joint health. 
  6. Chlorogenic acid found in moringa leaves is considered great for prevention and management of diabetes when cmbined with mindful lifestyle. 
  7. Taken in small doses, moringa powder helps improve digestive health. With its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties it helps cure candida and other minor digestive tract infections. Great for IBS too but be careful as large doses of moringa can induce diarrhea in some people.
  8. Moringa leaf powder is a good brain food too, being rich in antioxidants, minerals and Tryptophan. 
Apart from these, easy availability of naturally grown chemical free moringa is the strongest reason to use this super food more and more in everyday meals.

Recipe of baby potatoes stir fried with moringa leaf powder


ingredients 
(2 servings)
200 gm baby potatoes, boiled, cooled and peeled
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1/4 tsp green chili paste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp of crushed pepper 
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp amchoor powder
2 tsp moringa powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp mustard oil
10-15 grains of fenugreek seeds

procedure

Heat the oil and tip in the fenugreek seeds. Let them get brown and aromatic and then add the boiled baby potatoes.

Toss and cook the baby potatoes for a couple of minutes, add the garlic and green chili paste, salt and turmeric powder and cook while stirring frequently, for 5-6 minutes.

Add the remaining powders and cook for a couple of minutes. The stir fry is ready within 10 minutes if you have everything ready.

It can be served as a salad with boiled eggs or some grilled paneer. I served it with some okra stir fry and boiled eggs and when I posted a picture on Instagram I got many requests for this recipe.

I hope you try this recipe too. The baby potatoes made this way can be served in various ways, even as a snack with evening tea or drinks. Add some roasted peanuts to it and see how well the snack is received.

Moringa leaf powder can be used in many ways. I will write more about that in my next blogpost. Stay tuned.




Wednesday, June 28, 2017

some inspiring food and flavours from the Au Natural menu at Sorrento, Sangri-La's Eros Hotel, New Delhi


It is always a pleasure to witness an entire menu dedicated to healthy eating. Most of us fear eating out just because the food will be either full of junk cooking oils and bottled sauces or too rich even if the ingredients are all real and healthy. So when I got to know that Chef Neeraj Tyagi (Executive Chef, Shangri-La's Eros Hotel), has created a healthy 'Au Natural' menu to commemorate the Global Wellness month all this June at the award winning Italian restaurant Sorrento, I fixed a date and went to taste a few things from the menu.

I must share that the regular menu at the classy Italian restaurant Sorrento is all healthy as I have been there a few times, the ingredients always fresh and real, great quality olive oils and cheeses being the highlight apart from the house grown micro greens and fresh leafy greens. For this Au Natural menu Chef Tyagi took inspiration from the training he got from Michelin Star Chef Florent Biovin which is evident from the decadent refreshing flavours of the ingredients used, the flavour combinations and cooking techniques applied.

The Potato Ravioli and Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass that I tasted from the menu actually represent how the food has been treated to bring the best out of the ordinary ingredients.


The Quinoa Salad with parsley and pomegranate seeds was the first thing I tried and liked too, but I will suggest you skip this so you can eat the best parts of the menu. The Poached Lobster with grilled white asparagus, green peas and seaweed was an interesting medley of flavours and textures, you can try if you like prwns.

The real surprise came when Potato Ravioli with shiitake mushrooms and truffle essence was served. The flavours of the mushrooms enriched with truffle essence was pleasantly potent and the paper thin slice of potato encasing the flour-less ravioli actually a master stroke. I would have preferred the potato casing a bit softer but the idea and the flavours left me wanting for more. This is a must try dish from the menu.

Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass was very well done, served with smoked aubergine puree, pickled aubergine and a quinoa salad, the fish came with a citrus zing that I found quite nice. The pickled aubergine didn't agree with my taste but this dish is a meal in itself and you must order if you are going for this menu and you love fish.

I was too full and wanted to skip the dessert but it was interesting to see how the olive oil cake was made so light, served with strawberry sorbet it is a light and flavourful dessert but comes in a big serving so it is better to share it with your partner.

A great menu with some very nice elements like the seaweed and pea puree served with Poached Lobster, the smoked aubergine puree served with the Chilean Sea Bass and the light potato consomme served with the Potato Ravioli, is worth the money. So go and enjoy the Au Natural menu now as there are only a couple of days remaining. Some of the dishes will be retained into the Sorrento menu I hope, I vote for Potato Ravioli.