Sojne shaak / saag chorchori –
Spring is here, and its time to have some immunity boosters on the table. Not the packed chemicals, I am talking about the natural food that helps to improve your immune system. And what better could be than this – Sojne shaak chorchori.
Sojne or sahjan or better known as moringa, drumsticks in English is native to India and the tree blooms and flourishes precisely at this time of the year.
A slow transition in atmospheric temperature, that trigger off several other parameters, right from air quality, weeds that begins to multiply precisely at the onset of spring, viruses that begin to prolific in Spring and several other things that makes the season treacherous for many.
But amazingly nature has solution for this and how fascinating it is that the synchronizing blooming of this particular tree cures many of the season’s ailments.
What is Moringa / drumstick / sojne / sahjan tree?
Moringa Oleifera is a tree native to India and its parts had been used in traditional medicines for thousands of years. The tree is blessed with anti-oxidant properties, anti-inflammatory, and is believed to prevent chicken pox, together with neem or margosa.
How to use moringa flowers and leaves in your cooking?
Almost all of its parts can be eaten. I had previously blogged about how to use moringa flowers to cook age old delicacies that are almost lost now. The most common way to use moringa flowers / sahjan ke phool / sojne phool in Bengali cuisine is to make fritters out of it. The soft pillow ey drumstick/ moringa flower fritters are much sought after dish that goes extremely well on its own or with plain dal and rice meal.
Another age old, almost lost recipe of moringa flower is – sojne phool posto
But its leaves are ever popular and has been used in all forms in Indian cuisine. The clever way to use moringa leaves or any other leaves for that matter is to throw them in dals and curries.
Apart from that moringa leaves fritters are also popular in many Bengali homes, including ours.
Moringa beans also known as drumstick (beans ) are popular ingredient in Bengali cuisine. Apart from this sojne data chorchori, we also use it in dals too.
And here I am going to share a totally different recipe of moringa / sojne shaak as we call it in Bengali – sojne shaak chorchori in mustard base.
What is sojne shaak chorchori?
Saag chorchoris are common everyday dish in many Bengali homes. Any green leaves, right from kohl rabi leaves, turnip greens, cauliflower leaves and stalks, pumpkin leaves and other gourd leaves are usual choice for this kind of dish.
Sojne shaak chorchori is a medley of stir fried vegetables, like drumsticks, eggplants, red pumpkin and potatoes, together with the moringa leaves in a mustard base. This is a dry dish and is usually served along with plain rice.
- Moringa leaves (use only tender ones) : 3-4 cup
- Potato cut into medium size chunks : 1 cup
- Eggplants (with less seeds) cut into medium size chunks : 2 cups
- Sweet yellow pumpkin cut into medium size chunks with skin on : 1 cup
- Drumsticks : 4 (look for thinner ones) cut into finger size
- Mustard paste (use homemade only) : 4-5 tbsp
- Ginger paste : 2tbsp
- Salt as per taste
- Sugar : 2 tsp
- Turmeric powder : 1 tsp
- Green chillies : 2-3
- Nigella seeds : 1 tsp
- Dry Red chillies : 2-3
- Mustard Oil : ¼ cup
- Ghee : 1 tbsp
- Collect the tender moringa / drumstick/ sajne shaak leaves in a wide bowl. Immerse the leaves in bowl filled with water and leave for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, wash the leaves properly in running water under a colander. Repeat the process, till the water comes out clean.
- Meanwhile wash and prepare the vegetables as mentioned above and try to keep the size of the vegetables same as much as possible.
- Now heat a kadhai and heat the mustard oil till its smoking point.
- Temper the oil with nigella seeds and dry red chillies,
- Add first the eggplants and let them fry till they are lightly brown.
- Add other vegetables and ginger paste and fry till they turn brownish in color.
- Once done, add the mustard paste, saute for a while .
- Add salt, turmeric powder, sugar, green chillies and cook on high heat for another 5 minute.
- Lastly add the moringa / drumstick leaves.
- Leaves will release lots of water, so mix well, cover, lower the heat and cook till vegetables become soft and tender.
- Once done, check for the seasonings . Increase the heat and stir fry it nicely till all the juices has been soaked up..
- Chorchori are dry to semi dry dish and keep the consistency as per your liking's.
- Drizzle ghee over it and serve it over bed of plain steamed rice.
Stay tuned for more seasonal recipes.