Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Drumsticks and Leaves

All the facts are taken from Wikipedia and other source from the net:

Tender drumstick leaves, finely chopped, make an excellent garnish for any vegetable dishes, dals, sambars, salads a common vegetable in any South Indian household.It can be made into a variety of curry dishes by mixing with coconut, poppy seeds, and mustard. It can just be boiled until the drumsticks are semi-soft and consumed directly without any extra processing or cooking. It is used in curries, sambars, kormas, and dals, although it is also used to add flavor to cutlets, etc.In a typical menu back in India my MIL used to prepare these leaves with toor dal and coconut. These leaves are very costly here in the Indian Store.We have a huge tree growing in our backyard back in India which is visible from the road leading to our home. It's said that we shouldn't wake up looking at these trees.I'm not really sure why but I respect the culture behind it and never ask too many question like why, what if...

Let's find out the story behind this yummy drumsticks and it's leaves.

Moringa oleifera, commonly referred to simply as "Moringa" (Hindi: सहजन sahjan; Tamil murungai', முருங்கை; Kannada Nuggekai ನುಗ್ಗೆ ಕಾಯಿ; మునగకాయ in Telugu; Marathi Shevaga; Malunggay in Tagalog),Muringakkaya in Malayalam language,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.The "Moringa" tree is grown mainly in semi-arid, tropical, and subtropical areas- While it grows best in dry sandy soil, it tolerates poor soil, including coastal areas. It is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree that is native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India. It is considered one of the world’s most useful trees, as almost every part of the Moringa tree can be used for food or has some other beneficial property. In the tropics, it is used as forage for livestock, and in many countries, Moringa is used as a micronutrient powder to treat diseases.

The leaves are highly nutritious, being a significant source of beta-carotene, Vitamin C, protein, iron, and potassium.The leaves are cooked and used like spinach. In addition to being used fresh as a substitute for spinach, its leaves are commonly dried and crushed into a powder, and used in soups and sauces. Murungakai, as it is locally known in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, is used in Siddha medicine. Its leaves are full of medicinal properties. The tree is a good source for calcium and phosphorus. In Siddha medicines, these drumstick seeds are used as a sexual virility drug for treating erectile dysfunction in men and also in women for prolonging sexual activity.The Moringa seeds yield 38–40% edible oil (called ben oil from the high concentration of behenic acid contained in the oil). The refined oil is clear, odorless, and resists rancidity at least as well as any other botanical oil. The seed cake remaining after oil extraction may be used as a fertilizer or as a flocculent to purify water.

Sonjna (Moringa oleifera)trunk in Kolkata, West Bengal, India- the bark, sap,roots,seeds,oil and flowers are used in traditional medicine in several countries.In Jamaica the sap is used for producing blue dye. The flowers are also used in cooking and relishing. The tree's bark,roots,fruit,flower,leaves,seeds and gum are also used medically which includes as an antiseptic and treating rheumatism,venomous bite and other conditions.

The leaves are helpful in increasing breast milk in breastfeeding mothers. 0ne tablespoon of leaf powder provides 14% of the calcium,23% of the iron and most of the vitamin A a child needs from the age 1-3.Six tablespoons of the powder will provides nearly all of the women's daily iron and calcium needs during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

The oil which is known as ben oil is extracted from the flowers and they are used as illuminant,ointment base and absorbent in the enfleurage process of extracting volatile oils from flowers.The oil has been helpful for arthritic pains nad gouty joints

Monday, 19 October 2009

Values in Bok Choy

Bok Choy
Many have wonder what's this vegetable and how do prepare and many more. Bok choy is a versatile vegetable that is often used in Chinese cooking which is belong to the leafy vegetable Pak Choi family of Chinese brassicas. It is a good choice for appetizers, stir-fries and soups because of its high nutritional value. A distant relative of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.

Bok choy also known as bak choi, paak choi, Chinese chard cabbage and Chinese mustard cabbage is a vegetable that resembles celery although it is actually a member of the cabbage family. It has thick, white stalks and dark green leaves that have a round shape.Bok choy is a versatile vegetable that is often used in Chinese cooking. It is a good choice for appetizers, stir-fries and soups because of its high nutritional value. Cooking Bok Choy is extremely adaptable like boiling, steaming, stir-frying and even stir -frying are all possibilities.

The Ming Dynasty pharmacologist Li Shizhen studied the Chinese cabbage for its medicinal qualities. Before this time the Chinese cabbage was largely confined to the Yangtze River Delta region.The Chinese cabbage as it is known today is very similar to a variant bred in Zhejiang around the 14th century. During the following centuries, it became popular in northern China and the northern harvest soon exceeded the southern one. Northern cabbages were exported along the Grand Canal to Zhejiang and as far south as Guangdong. They were introduced to Korea, where it became the staple vegetable for making kimchi. In the early 20th century, it was taken to Japan by returning soldiers who had fought in China during the Russo-Japanese War. At present, the Chinese cabbage is quite commonly found in markets throughout the world.

Types of Bok Choy available:

1.Hybird Tall Bok Choy
2.Tall Bok Choy
3.Dwarf Bok Choy
4.Taiwan Bok Choy
6.Hybrid Joi Choi
Nutritions Valuces of Bok Choy Bok Choy is rich in fiber,potassium and calcium.A cup of Bok Choy contains the same amount of calcium to a 1/2 a cup of milk.It is a good source of foliate (vitamin B9). Also has more bete-corotene compared to other types of cabbages.

Service Size of a cup shredded Bok Choy or about 70 grams gives the following facts:
Total Fat: 0.14 g
Saturated Fat: 0.018 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.011 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.067 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg

Micro nutrients:
Calcium: 74 mg
Iron: 0.56 mg
Magnesium: 13 mg
Phosphorus: 26 mg
Potassium: 176 mg
Sodium: 46 mg
Zinc: 0.13 mg
Vitamin C: 31.5 mg
Thiamin: 0.028 mg
Riboflavin: 0.049 mg
Niacin: 0.350 mg
Pantothenic Acid: 0.062 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.136 mg
Vitamin B12: 0 mcg
Folate: 46 mcg
Vitamin A: 3128 IU
Vitamin E: 0.06 mg
Vitamin K: 25.1 mcg

beta Carotene: 1877 mcg
beta Cryptoxanthin: 0 mcg
Lycopene: 0 mcg
Lutein and Zeaxanthin: 28 mcg

Water: 66.72 g
Calories: 9
Protein: 1.05 g
Carbohydrates: 1.53 g
Fiber: 0.7 g
Sugars: 0.83 g

Source of Information: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference and Wikipedia

Bok Choy Recipes:

1.Noodles In Village Style Chicken Soup (Rasam)

2.Fried Mixed Vegetable Noddles

3.Spiced Hokkien Noodles With Shrimps

4.Stir-Fried Poi Choi

Indian Spices

Spices, Leaves & Seeds

Aniseed: Sombu/Perumjeerakam
Asafoetida: Perungaayam
Basil Leaves: Thulasi
Bay Leaf: Talishapattiri/Brinji Elai
Caraway Seeds: Karunjeerakam
Cardamoms(Brown): Elakkai (Pazhuppu)
Cardamoms(Green): Elakkai (Pachchai)
Cinnamon: Lavangapattai
Cloves: Kraambu
Coriander Leaves: Koththamail Ilaigal
Coriander Seeds:Koththamail Virai
Cumin Seeds: Jeerakam
Curry Leaves: Kariveppilai
Frenugreek Seeds: Vendhayam
Mac: Jaadipathri
Mint Leaves:Pudhinaa
Mustard Seeds: Kadugu
Nutmeg: Jaadhikai
Parsley: Kothamalu Ilaigal
Peppercorns: Milagu
Pomegranate Seeds: Maadhulai Vidhai
Poppy Seeds: Kasakasaa
Saffron: Kungumapoo
Sesame seeds: Ellu
Tamarind: Puli
Turmeric: Manjal
Thymol Seed: Omam

Herbal Leaves

Herbal Leaves

Plants and their leaves had been used for medicinal purposes long before recorded history. The plant's seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes. These leaves are very good for health and have stated what these are know in Tamil.

English to Tamil

Drumstick Leaves: Murungai Keerai

Hummingbird Tree Leaves: Agathi Keerai

Radish Leaves: Mullangi keerai

Spinach: Ceylon Pasalai

Indian Spinach: Pasalai keerai

Mint Leaves: Pudina

Little Hogweed Leaves: Paruppu Keerai

Amaranthus/ Chinese Spinach: Mulai keerai

Green Amaranthus: Kuppai Keerai

Spleen Amaranth:Arakkeerai

Tropical Amaranth:Sirukeerai

Marsilea Leaves/Water Clover Leaves: Neeraarai Keerai

Creeping Wood Sorrel Leaves:Puliyaarai Keerai

Fenugreek Leaves: Vendaya Keerai

Chicory Leaves: Kasini Keerai

Joyweed Leaves:Ponanganni Keerai

Dwarf Copper Leaf: Sivappu Ponnanganni Keerai

Wedelia Leaves: Manjal Karisalanganni

Deccan-hemp Leaves: Puliccha Keerai, Gongura

Asiatic pennywort/ Gotu Kola: Vallarai Keerai

Balloon Vine Leaves: Mudakkatran keerai

Boerhaavia Leaves: Mukkarattai keerai

Purple-fruited Pea Eggplant: Thuduvelai

Curry Leaves:Karivepilai