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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sajana Phula Bhaja

Drumstick flowers or Moringa flowers are known as 'Sajana phula' in Odia. Not very long back, a drumstick tree was a mandatory part of every garden in Odisha. The other must plants were the banana plant, papaya and a fruit tree like mango and/or guava. But with rising land rates and shrinking plot sizes, the gardens are being dispensed with and most people no longer have access to such a delicacy. And sadly one does not find it being sold in the markets.

Residing in Blore, I could only dream of having access to it. So, when I made the annual trip to my native, it was on my must-eat list along with 'karadi' and the famous Rourkela 'Gupchup' . Though I sometimes have it in Bhubaneshwar, the Gupchup here is simply a class apart. Almost everyone swears by the vendor in their own locality or a nearby place. But there are some crazy folks who would not mind making a trip (in some cases a long one)  to Sec 15/ Ispat Market /Sec 20 for savoring the stuff sold by a particular vendor. Since I no longer have the inclination to follow in their footsteps, I am happy to sample the stuff dished out by the nearest vendor.

Coming back to the recipe, it is a frugal one made with the simplest of ingredients. Read on -

Preparation Time - 10-15 mins (most of it is used for cleaning the flowers)

Ingredients -

  • 2 cups drumstick flowers
  • 1 green chili
  • 2 pinch pancha phutana
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
Preparation - Pluck the drumstick flowers from the bunch. Throw away the dried and shriveled ones. Wash and clean them.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a wok. Add the broken green chili and pancha phutana. Once it stops spluttering, add the crushed garlic flakes along with the cleaned flowers.

Stir fry for 3 mins. Add the salt and mix in. Remove from the flame.

Serve as a side dish with rice/rotis and dal.

Note - The very tender drumsticks can also be fried along with the flowers. 


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