In a post earlier on how to grow pumpkin in containers I had mentioned that all parts of a pumpkin plant are edible. A lot of people actually were surprised to hear that. Which naturally meant that many people have never tasted a pumpkin leaf stew before. Which obviously meant that I had to make this post on Pumpkin Leaf Stew Recipe. This is my mother’s recipe and hence is a great comfort food; simple, nutritious, delicious all at the same time. We generally have it with steamed rice or rotis. But add a little more water, you can enjoy it even as a soup.
Pumpkin Leaf Stew Recipe
As the main ingredient here is the pumpkin leaf you have to make sure that you have grown the plant yourself organically. Commercially grown pumpkin plants are generally sprayed with poisonous pesticides and hence its leaves are not at all safe to consume. In case you do not have a pumpkin plant in your garden, just borrow a few leaves and young stems from your friends garden. And in exchange treat her with this delicious stew.
Young pumpkin leaves and stems washed and chopped coarsely – 15 to 20 leaves plucked with its stem
Potatoes cleaned and cut into bite size pieces – 2 medium sized
Eggplant cleaned and cut into bite size pieces – 2 medium sized
Pumpkin cleaned and cut into small pieces- 100 grams
Moong Dal washed and soaked for over an hour – 1 cup
Garlic crushed – 6 to 7 pods
Onion cut into small pieces – 1 medium size
Green chilies cut into small pieces – 2
Whole Mustard – 1 teaspoon
Vegetable Oil (or any oil for frying) – 2 tablespoon
Salt – to taste
Water – 2 cups
Heat oil in a pan or wok.
When oil is hot add mustard, green chilies and garlic pods. After about 30 seconds add the onions and saute till onion is translucent.
Add pumpkin leaves and saute for two to three minutes. This step is very important and never miss this step.
Now add all vegetables and the dal. Mix everything well.
Add salt to taste. Add water and bring it to boil.
When the stew starts boiling reduce heat and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes till the greens and vegetables are soft and tender.
Your Pumpkin Leaf Stew is now ready. Adjust the amount of water if you want it more runny like a soup. Now all you got to do is to enjoy this delicious stew with your friends and family.
In India cow is a revered animal and is often referred to as Gou-Mata or the Cow Mother. And this love and respect for the holy cow does not come without any reason. Every product from cow including its dung and urine have been used in daily lives of people in Indian sub continent since ancient times. Gou-Daan or Gifting/Donation of the cow was considered as one of the biggest act of kindness as cow is also a source of livelihood. But the biggest contribution that the Indian breed (desi) cow has been making is in the field of agriculture. Cow waste is one of the best manures and soil enhancer which is used in organic farming widely. A lot of different liquid fertilizers and foliar sprays are made using cow waste all across India. Panchagavya/Panchakavya or Panchagavyam/Panchakavyam is not just one of them, it is the king among them all. It is also used in Ayurvedic medicines and cosmetic products.
Though Panchgavya is available commercially in Indian market, we prefer to make our own. This is because not only we want to control the quality, Panchagavya is also super easy to prepare.
Panchagavya can be loosely translated as ‘Five products of cow’. As the name suggests it uses five products from cow and a few more natural ingredients for the fermentation process. Here is what you need to prepare this magic potion. Note that all the cow products must be from desi cow variety.
Fresh Cow Dung – 5 kg
Cow Urine (need not be fresh) – 3 liter
Cow Milk boiled and cooled (not refrigerated) – 2 liter
Fresh Cow Curd – 2 liter
Cow Ghee – 500 gms
Well ripened Bananas – 12
Black organic jaggery dissolved in 3 liters of water (Alternatively use sugarcane juice of the same volume) – 500 gms
Fresh Tender coconut water – 3 liters
Fresh Grape Juice – 2 liter
Take a wide mouth plastic, clay or wooden container. Do NOT use a metal container. Make sure its clean and sun dry it for a day or two to sterilize it.
Mix the cow dung and ghee in the container using a wooden stick. Again do not use any metal here. Stir in clockwise direction in a rhythmic motion. Then stir in anti clockwise direction. Do not mix vigorously. It will kill the beneficial microbes in cow dung.
Cover the container using thick cloth to protect it from insects. Leave this mixture for three days. Keep it away from direct sunlight and rain. Give it a stir once in the morning and once in the evening. Twelve times in each direction works well.
On the fourth day slowly stir in all other ingredients. Make sure you are mixing them in while stirring the mixture in a single direction slowly.
Leave this to ferment for 15 days. Give it a stir once in the morning and once in the evening.
Your Panchagavya is now ready to use. Store it in a place away from direct sun and rain. Keep it covered and give it a stir two times a day. If you follow these guidelines you can store this concoction up to 2 months.
How to use Panchagavya
To use Panchagavya dilute it with 30 parts water and it is ready to be used as a liquid fertilizer. To use it as a foliar spray filter the liquid using a cotton cloth to separate out the waste. If you do not filter it your spray nozzle will be blocked.
As a fertilizer we use it once every two weeks during normal growth of a plant and once a week during flowering and fruiting. As a foliar spray we use it on a weekly basis. We have noticed that when Panchagaya is sprayed all pests disappear and start to make an appearance after about a week’s time. Hence we spray once in a week. Spraying should be done early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Plants and leaves should be dry when you spray Panchakavya. You can spray it between 8-9 AM on a normal day in the morning. In the evening spray about an hour before sun set. Do not waste your Panchagavya on rainy days.
Benefits of Panchagavya
The benefits of Panchagavya are numerous. It is indeed a magic potion for plants. You’ll notice a few things about your plants when you start using Panchakavya.
It keeps pests away from your plants.
It helps develop bigger and better leaves and stem.
Plant canopy and root system becomes denser.
Yield is better in quantity and quality.
In our garden we use Panchakavya in addition to other cow waste based liquid fertilizers like Amrut Jal and Jiwamrita and have been consistently getting splendid results. Even our kittens like to slurp Panchagavya. We believe their extraordinary growth and health is due to Panchakavya. Though this still needs to be proven, the benefits of Panchagavya for your plants will be there for you to see when you make your own and use it.
As promised in the last post here I am with an Easy and Nutritious Long Beans Recipe. Its a very easy to do raw vegetable salad and you can eat it as a side dish or just by itself as a snack. Vegetables loose their nutrition with time and because of cooking. To get maximum nutrition from vegetables you should have it fresh and raw. But vegetables bought from store are typically a few days old and are grown using inorganic fertilizers and pesticides. So not only its low in nutritional value, it is also not advisable to eat them raw. It is indeed harmful for you. Hence if you want to make this Easy and Nutritious Long bean recipe then I highly recommend you to grow your own long beans in your own Organic Terrace Garden. Growing Long beans in Containers is super easy and time to harvest is also very low (40-45 days). Hence there is no excuse why you should not be growing them by yourself. And the most important factor why you should use organically grown long beans from your garden for this recipe is that they taste much better and sweeter and have a great texture.
Long Beans Salad Recipe
Back to the recipe now. This is a Canadian inspired recipe and uses sweet nectar of Canada, the maple syrup. However if you don’t have pure maple syrup you can substitute it with honey. This Easy and Nutritious Long Beans Recipe serves two as a snack. As a side dish it can serve three to four persons.You’ll take only 10 minutes to make this and this is what you need for the lip smacking salad.
Fresh Yard Long Beans from your Organic Terrace Garden – 250 gms
Sesame seeds – 1 tablespoon
Olive Oil – 2 tablespoon
Kozlik’s Canadian Mustard (spicy) – 1 tablespoon
Pure Dark Maple syrup – 1 tablespoon
Lime or Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
Black pepper (coarsely crushed) – 1 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Wash long beans thoroughly and cut off the ends. Cut into 1 inch size pieces and pat dry.
Roast sesame seeds on a pan for 2-3 minutes till they become slightly brown and leave them to cool.
In a bowl whisk together Olive Oil, Mustard, Maple syrup, Lime juice and Black pepper till you have a good emulsion.
In a salad bowl mix together the Beans, Sesame seeds and the Dressing.
Add salt to taste and mix till the beans are coated well with the dressing.
And there you have it. This easy and Nutritious Long beans recipe is ready.
The best part of this recipe is that you really don’t have to stick to the measurements religiously. You can alter the quantities according to your liking. And if you don’t have Kozlik’s mustard you can always substitute it with any mustard sauce which has heat. The hero of this recipe is organically grown fresh yard long beans and you can enjoy these at any time of the day in just ten minutes.