Sajana (moringa oleofera) blossoms in early spring and this is a delicate dish made from its florets. Most rai recipes use mustard based spices mix, but this one uses a very subtle flavour of pancha phutata alone. The yogurt in the recipe lends a mild sourness and a gentle binding consistency to the rai.
1 cup moringa oleifra blossoms (sajana phula)
1 medium onion - chopped fine (piaja)
2 pods garlic - crushed (rasuna)
2 table spoons cooking oil (tela)
1 teaspoon pancha phutana mixture
(pancha phutana = cumin+mustard+nigella+fenugreek+aniseed )
2 tablespoon beaten yogurt (dahi)
1 pinch turmeric powder (haladi gunda)
salt to taste (luna)
chilli powder to taste (lanka gunda)
De-stem the sajana blossoms carefully making sure only the petals are retained. Wash and drain. Heat the oil, sputter the pancha phutana. Add the blossoms, turmeric, salt and chilli powder. Mix well. The moisture in the blossoms should help wilt them quickly (in two minutes or so). Otherwise, sprinkle some water to wilt the florets. When done, mix in the yoghurt, take off the heat and serve hot along with the main course. If you so wish, green peas can also be added to the rai.
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