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Malunggay is classified as a tropical plant that can reach a height of 9 meters. This tree is found growing in the Philippines, India and Africa. The most prized part of this tropical tree are the Malunggay pods, which contain essential oils, vitamins and nutrients. The Malunggay pods are very long, have a green to brown outer skin and contain small seeds that are winged and angled. Also known as Horseradish drumsticks, Malunggay pods have a flavor that is similar to the Green bean and all parts of the pod and even the tree are edible.
Malunggay pods can be found growing year-round in tropical regions of the world.
The Malunggay, botanically known as Moringa oleifera is commonly referred to as the Miracle tree. The name "Miracle" is derived from the vast multi-use and multi-purpose nature of it's parts.
Malunggay pods have been used for thousands of years as a medicinal herb and for its rich nutritional value. Malunggay pods have been shown to have numerous anti-cancer properties, which prevent cancer forming tumor cells. Other studies have shown the anti-inflammatory properties of the Malunggay pods can help to treat symptoms of arthritis, joint pain and rheumatism. Additionally, Malunggay pods have a very high content of vitamin C, A and vitamin B as well as calcium.
Malunggay pods are often used in traditional curry and vegetable dishes. These pods can be pureed and made into a soup or used to make a novel version of pesto sauce. The Malunggay pods can also be used in baking applications, where it is kneaded into bread, pasta dough or dessert recipes. A very popular vegetable in Asian cuisine, Malunggay pods can be added to rice dishes, noodle dishes and can be used either fresh or dried.
The Malunggay tree is native to a range near the Himalayan mountains and is found growing wild in the Middle East as well as Africa. The Malunggay tree prefers tropical, sub-tropical or semi-arid environments to thrive. Currently, the Malunggay tree is widely cultivated in Central and South America as well as the Philippines. The Malunggay tree has a history dating back more than 5,000 years in traditional Indian medicine. Once, referred to as the "poor man's" vegetable, Malunggay is now prized for its potent nutritional and medicinal value.
Recipes that include Malunggay. One is easiest, three is harder.