Tuesday, April 28, 2009

the moringa tree - the drumstick tree

when it comes to eating and people mention drumsticks, they are usually referring to the thighs of the chicken but when my sri lankan friend mentions drumsticks, he usually looks at a particular tree. today, as we were walking towards casuarina curry restaurant, we walked past two of these trees. i decided to take some pictures and to find out more about the drumstick tree.

it seems the moringa tree is a very useful tree and nearly all parts of it can be eaten. the leaves, the pods and the roots are eaten; the flowers are loved by bees; and the seeds (from the mature pods) are powdered and used to purify water.

from what i have gathered, the drumstick leaves are much nutritious and beneficial to our health than the pods or, for that matter, any other vegetable. it is a great source of vitamin a and when raw, vitamin c. they are also a good source of b vitamins and among plants, they are about the best source of minerals. the calcium content is very high for a plant and the content of iron is also very substantial. they are excellent as a source of protein. moreover, the fat and carbohydrates content is low.

the drumstick leaves taste bitter when eaten raw. so, it is either stir fried with other ingredients or cooked with water to remove the bitter taste. two drumstick leaves recipes i found on the internet are here and here.

the green pods are called the drumsticks. when they turn brown, as on the above tree, they look even more like drumsticks. according to my indian friends, they prefer to cook them when they are (immature) green, when they taste like asparagus.

the drumsticks are usually cooked together with other vegetables or as dalcha, when they are cooked in curry with other vegetables and bits of meat. drumsticks are available at mustafa samsuddin supermarket, sheng siong supermarket and grocery stalls at serangoon road.

at sheng siong supermarket, the drumsticks are sold at $6.00 a kilo. for $3.00, you should be able to get 6 drumsticks. i did not come across the leaves but understand that the leaves are usually more readily available compared to the pods.


Kelvin Wu said...

Hello, it was a great website describing about the drumstick tree / Moringa. Could you share where I could find the moringa tree in Singapore? I am actually looking for the seeds for cultivation, to help out the unprivileged society overseas.

Thank you.

yg said...

hi kelvin, i think the drumstick tree is not that rare in s'pore. i have seen the tree in various parts of s'pore. the one in the photo was somewhere in the middle of the stretch of casuarina road. i saw it while on my way to the casuarina curry restaurant for my breakfast (prata).

Kelvin Wu said...

Thank you. YG.
I will hunt for it.
Hope I could get some seeds.

Have a nice day.

Ed said...

any more news on the moringa tree?

sakura said...

and yes...the leaves of moringa tree (we call it malunggay in the philippines) is a good soup additive. it's highly nutritious and yes! will help lotsa mom produce breastmilk for their cute little ones. trust me! i've been that (winks).

Unknown said...

May I know if it is legal to plant moringa in Singapore???