Recipes for Change: Moringa leaves with coconout - Sri Lanka
Try the recipe at home
Sri Lanka is a small island nation in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean off India’s southeastern coast. Given that a large proportion of the population is concentrated in coastal areas, the country is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels, a fact illustrated during the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. With a substantial share of foreign income derived from climate sensitive crops such as tea, income from agricultural exports looks set to be threatened by a changing climate. Furthermore, increased temperatures and heightened rainfall variability have the potential to undermine the stability of staple crops such as rice. Floods in particular could lead to crop failures, which in turn could compromise food security.
Moringa oleifera offers the twin benefits of combatting soil erosion and bolstering food and nutrition security. A drought resistant perennial plant, the leaves of the moringa tree are a rich source of minerals and vitamins, including vitamin C, K and various B vitamins, as well as iron, magnesium and protein.
However, moringa, along with other ingredients in this recipe, is under threat from climate change. Disrupted rainfall patterns have led to droughts, which in turn have affected the growth of moringa saplings. Crucial value chain activities, particularly harvesting, have been disrupted by altered weather patterns, particularly the increased occurrence of extreme events such as storms. Flooding can also reduce the area of cultivable land and cause extensive crop losses.
- Prolonged periods of drought adversely affect the growth of moringa saplings.
- Disrupted weather patterns, including heavy rainfall and storms, disrupt activities like harvesting.
- Reduced amount of cultivable land due to flooding.
- Efficient water usage by establishing micro irrigation systems for moringa cultivation, e.g. drip/sprinkler systems.
- Training farmers in composting and mulching techniques.
Why not try this nutritious local recipe that combines these ingredients?
Moringa Leaves with Coconut
- 100g moringa leaves (alternatively, use cabbage)
- 45g grated coconut
- 2-3 red onion (medium size)
- 1-2 garlic cloves (optional)
- 1 or 2 green chillies (adjust to taste)
- 1 or 2 dried red chillies (adjust to taste)
- 1.5g mustard seeds
- 2 pinches turmeric powder
- 15ml cooking oil
- Salt (add to taste)
- Separate the moringa leaves from the stalk. Chop and wash.
- Chop the onions, garlic, green chillies and dried red chillies.
- Add salt and turmeric powder to the chopped moringa leaves. Mix thoroughly.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and add mustard seeds. Allow them to sizzle. Then add onions, garlic, green chillies and dried red chillies. Sauté until the onions turn golden.
- Add the moringa leaves, mix well, cover and cook under low heat for 2 to 4 minutes.
- Take off the lid, stir, mix and cook on low heat for another 2 to 4 minutes. Stir constantly to avoid burning.
- Add the grated coconut. Stir constantly and cook on low heat for 1 or 2 minutes.
- Taste the curry and add salt if required.
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