One last item we are making in this particular focus on Moringa leaves is a podi, or South Indian spice powder. For this, the leaves are dried quickly and then powdered. Simple, easy and quick.
We like to make our own seasoning from Moringa Leaves. Moringa Leaves are the next big superfood to come to the West from India, but available mainly in pill form. Many will never have seen a fresh Moringa Leaf! We love to cook with them, dry them, and use them as a seasoning in a powdered form. Our Moringa tree is growing well and we hope to have our own leaves next season.
Moringa Leaf Podi | Drumstick Leaf Spice Powder
There are several ways to dry moringa leaves – on trays, covered with mesh, in the sunshine, in a low oven (don’t put the fan on), and in a dehydrator (covered in mesh to prevent them from flying around). But for podi my favourite and quick method is to dry roast them until crisp. Place in a pan so that they form a thin layer over the bottom and stir often or constantly while they roast and turn crispy. Expect a little browning.
Grind to a powder. Use the powder as a podi or seasoning. It is especially good with rice or dosa with some ghee. Or add to other podis, for example, gunpowder podi. Alternatively, mix with sea salt and use as your usual day to day seasoning for food.
Even in the crispy state, before grinding, they can be sprinkled over yoghurt, in sandwiches and over salads.
Podi with Sesame Seeds
A delightful podi can also be made by mixing the dried moringa leaf powder with spices. For example, toast 0.25 cups sesame seeds, grind them to a powder and set aside.
Saute in a little ghee 2 Indian dried red chillies, a pinch of asafoetida and 1.5 Tblspn of red gram dal (urad dal). Grind these to a powder.
Mix 3 Tblspn of dried moringa leaf powder, the sesame powder, the spice-dal powder and sea salt to taste. Mix well. Store in an airtight jar and use with hot rice and ghee.
Other additions can include 1 – 2 tspns each of channa dal and toor dal , 1 tspn cumin seeds – saute them with the chillies and urad dal before grinding.
Sesame seeds can be replaced with Indian raw peanuts – toast them in a dry pan and pulse-grind to a powder.