Ben tree

Ben tree

Name Variations Edit

  • Moringa
  • sahjan
  • saragova
  • setka ni
  • murugai
  • drumstick vegetable
  • Moringa oleifera (scientific name)


Moringa oleifera, commonly referred to simply as "Moringa" (from Tamil: Muringa and Malayalam: Murunggi), is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Moringa, which is the only genus in the family Moringaceae. It is an exceptionally nutritious vegetable tree with a variety of potential uses. The tree itself is rather slender, with drooping branches that grow to approximately 10 m in height. In cultivation, it is often cut back annually to 1 meter or less and allowed to regrow so that pods and leaves remain within arm's reach.

These are long slender bean pods of an Indian tree, that is known as the horseradish tree because of the roots have a similar pungent taste.

The fruit of the tree is quite popular as a vegetable in Asia and Africa. The fruit is a long thin pod resembling a drumstick. The fruit itself is called drumstick in India and elsewhere. Moringa leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, particularly in the Philippines and Africa.

Tender drumstick leaves, finely chopped, make an excellent garnish for any vegetable dishes, dals, sambars, salads, etc. One can use the same in place of or with coriander, as these leaves have high medicinal value. The leaves can be used as a leafy vegetable on their own rather than garnish and can be an excellent dish cooked in either daal or thin buttermilk, and in some regions the fallen flowers are gathered and cleansed to be cooked with besan to make a nice dish as well.

The best way to use the beans is to scrape out the rougher parts on the outside after a cleansing and then boil them into the final stages of preparations of any liquid being cooked to serve over rice, such as kadhi or daal, after the seasoning with oil and spices is done. This is of course about ready ripe beans, which is how they are used in west and south. In north, they are taken off tender and eaten like any other vegetables, with the whole tree being trimmed and regrown every year - while in western and southern parts the tree is evergreen, always flowering and always dripping with the beans to give nutritional addition to meals.

If the pulp has to be scraped out after cooking the sticks, then keep the pieces as long as 4-5 inches long. Also, do not scrape the skin before boiling. This will help to hold and scrape them more easily and with less mess. For drumstick sambar, follow the recipe for traditional sambar, adding boiled drumstick fingers, along with onions in the oil, while stir frying.

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