Culinary Heritage: Moringa or ‘Bred Mouroum’

Formerly Moringa, commonly known in Mauritius as “Bred Mouroum” or “Bred medaille” was planted along cemeteries and served as natural fences. A food plant with 92 nutrients that can reach 10 meters in height, it is among the richest nutriments on the planet.

Grown abundantly at the time, and very inexpensive, this ‘bred’ was prepared in different ways. But the best known and most appreciated is undoubtedly the ‘bred Mouroum’ broth with a good fish head. To prepare this broth, it was common to see the whole family giving a helping hand as the small leaves had to be separated from their stems, and a pretty good amount was needed for the best flavor. The basic spices for this broth remain the same as in most traditional Mauritian cuisine, namely garlic, ginger and onions.

Is there anything tastier than a good coconut mint chutney to accompany this dish so rich that it helps strengthen the immune system? In fact, Moringa or ‘bred Mouroum’ is an extremely versatile ingredient with medicinal properties. Everything in this plant can be consumed. Young tender pods and finely chopped leaves, will be used as a garnish for vegetable dishes and salads. Ripe seeds are sometimes removed from the pods and eaten like peas or roasted like nuts. At the end of a nice meal, it is often advisable to take an infusion of the dried leaves crushed to obtain an emerald-khaki powder. The dosage of the consumption of “bred Mouroum” must however be controlled.

In the north of Mauritius, new plantations can be found. Wandering through the inlands, you may come across Moringa plants in people’ s yard. Should you be interested to go for a tasting, let yourself be someone’s guest and depending on the season, the host may provide a good Moringa leaves stew embellished by sweet peppers right from his backyard.

Moringa: a childhood memory which is today becoming important, in this new normal era of our times.

Lza M Natur

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