Moringa is a seasonal flower with many health benefits and immunity boosting components. Moringa trees are very common in India and all the parts of the tree from leaf, pods, flowers are used as food. In a Bengali household the pods (drumsticks) are eaten throughout the year and it is more like a ritual to eat moringa flowers or Sojne phool (as we call it in Bengali) during the on set of Spring. As a kid when I used to question about eating those flowers, my parents have always answered that eating moringa flowers prevent chicken pox. I don't know whether it is scientifically proven or not but as I grow up I also follow the same routine of having moringa flowers during this time of the year. And I'm quite fond of this seasonal flower and wait for this bounty of nature which is only available for a very limited time period.
It's difficult to explain how the flower exactly taste like, it has no strong flavor but a faint earthy fragrance. And being a flower, it is of course very delicate and cooked along with other vegetables and minimal spices. The most common preparation is a stir fry with potato and seasonal vegetables like broad beans, green peas etc. Or these small white flowers and dipped in chickpea flour batter to fried into crispy pakoras. This time I prepared these flowers with cubed potatoes and poppy seed paste, following my Ma's recipe.
Things needed to make Posto diye sojne phool:
- Sojne phool (moringa flowers): 3 cups
- Potato (peeled and cubed): 1 cup
- Kalo jire (nigella seeds): 1 tsp
- Green chilies: 3-4
- Poppy seed paste: 4 tbsp
- Salt to taste
- Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
- Sugar: a pinch
- Mustard oil: 2 tbsp
Steps of making Posto diye sojne phool:1. Wash the flower and drain any excess water.
2. Heat mustard oil in a kadhai, when hot add cubed potatoes and fry till golden. Take out.
3. In the same oil add nigella seeds and green chilies, add poppy seed paste. Mix and cook for 2-3 min over medium heat.
4. Add fried potato, salt, turmeric powder, moringa flowers, mix well, cover and cook for 6-7 min. Add a pinch of sugar to taste. Add more green chilies if needed. Serve hot with steamed rice.
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