Nugge Hoovu Nugge Soppu Akki Rotti is a delicious way of including Moringa Blossoms and leaves both in one simply amazing filling dish in authentic Karnataka style
Nugge Hoovu Nugge Soppu Akki Rotti – Moringa Blossoms and Leaves Akki Rotti ನುಗ್ಗೆ ಹೂವು ನುಗ್ಗೆ ಸೊಪ್ಪು ಅಕ್ಕಿ ರೊಟ್ಟಿ with copious amounts of freshly grated coconut makes an ideal brunch although Akki Rotti is originally a breakfast item in Karnataka. I like to serve the soft pliable and yielding Rottis with homemade thuppa/ghee or a blob of butter on top along with some spicy accompaniments like Mamidi Allam Pachadi or mamidikaya palli pachadi or hagalkayi Gojju
Nugge Hoovu Nugge Soppu Akki Rotti tastes delicious on its own if you have nothing other than some thick homemade yogurt at hand
Nugge Hoovu (Kannada) / Muringya Blossoms / Drumstick flowers are an Indian edible flower, just as edible as the Muringya leaves and the drumsticks (Nugge Kayi) more popularly known as the superfood Moringa. Flowers have been part of many regional cuisines from old times. Making the most of all the useful parts of a plant and being resourceful is a skill our ancestors were well versed with, something we have forgotten. But it doesn’t have to stay that way.
Each part of this humble drumstick tree has such curative properties, the leaves being iron and protein rich.
Those who have access to Nugge Mara / Drumstick tree in their backyard or in their neighborhood can always pick them fresh. For those of us who don’t have access to them, we have to rely on their market availability.
How to select : When plucking or buying, look for bunches with tender light green leaves and plenty of buds and blossoms. If the leaves are darker green and bigger, they are mature leaves and tend to be chewy. Sometimes they sell bunches of blossoms separately at the market.
Other names: Drumstick blossoms are also known as Sahjane ka phool (Hindi), Murungai Poovu (Tamil), Shojne phool (Bengali), Shobanjana (Samskrita)
The lightly fragrant yellowish white five petal blossoms are a rarity at the market as the dainty little things neither tolerate heat nor take to transportation well.
On the odd days that I do find myself lucky, I don’t let the chance go by. Obviously though, they need to be used up pretty soon. Luckily they hold up well for a day wrapped in a cloth bag in the vegetable crisper.
It can be a bit time consuming and exceedingly tedious task to harvest the leaves and blossoms from the stem to eat them. But it is totally worth the effort.
If you are squeamish about eating flowers, let alone bringing them near you, you might be relieved to know that as for the delicate blossoms, they stay in the Rotti unnoticed like the silent letters in words, existing without letting their whereabouts known.
Rest assured that you are eating healthy.
On a side note, you can also try this other equally delicious variation of Rotti made of drumstick leaves and a mix of Rice and Ragi flours.
- 1 cup rice flour
- 3/4 cup freshly grated coconut
- scant handfuls of fresh nugge hoovu / muringya flowers and buds
- one handful tender nugge soppu / moringa / drumstick leaves
- just enough water to cook the leaves about 3/4 cup
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder or per taste
- 1/2 tsp jeera / cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp hing
- 2 stalks of spring onions washed, towel dried and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds during winter
- peanut oil for cooking
- banana leaves / parchment paper
Wash the whole bunch by dunking it in a bucket/big pot of water several times. Rinse, strain and drip dry by laying it upside down on a colander or large bowl. When the bunch is no longer dripping wet, spread the stalks on a towel and let dry over night or until dry
In the morning, separate the leaves from the stalk by pulling the tender leaves backwards
Discard damaged, bruised and yellow mature leaves. Also the stalks and stems. No need for chopping the leaves
Cover and cook the leaves in just enough water (about 3/4 cup) until the leaves are cooked
Separate the blossoms and buds form the stems
gently rinse them in a bowl of water and towel dry
In a large mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together. Then add cooked Moringa leaves, blossoms and buds, grated coconut and chopped spring onions and mix well till the mixture is coarse and crumbly
Use the water the leaves were cooked in, to form a soft pliable dough, neither too tight nor runny. Do not mix the entire dough at once. Mix as needed
Keep a bowl of water by the stove for dipping
Heat a griddle or tawa, cast iron preferably
While the tawa heats up, apply oil on the banana leaf/parchment paper
Now take a small ball of dough about the size of a small orange and pat it with your wet palm to make a thin circular Rotti. Dip your fingers in that bowl of water as needed, to pat with ease. Make a hole in the centre
Turn the parchment paper/banana leaf upside down on the tawa and gently strip away the leaf or parchment paper.
Fix any torn ends of the Rotti. Drizzle oil over the Rotti and in the centre.
Cover and cook on medium heat. Flip after 3-4 mins, the bottom side must have turned golden brown. Cover and cook the other side for a min or 2 and transfer to a plate.
While the Rotti cooks, pat the next one and keep it ready. Before making the next Rotti, turn the heat down to sim and then transfer the next one on to the Tawa. If the Tawa is smoking hot, sprinkle some water to cool it down before safely transferring the next Rotti on to the Tawa..
If you prefer one side to be crisp, leave it for an extra minute or two. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Enjoy it served hot with a blob of butter or ghee on top accompaniment of your choice
Make sure to choose the bunch that has tender leaves avoiding yellow leaves.
Always clean, wash and dry the bunch of leaves before hand.
You can omit sesame seeds when making during hotter months.
Always serve Rotti hot.
You may add finely chopped green chillies if you like.
The recipe is vegan except for the optional dollop of butter or ghee to serve on top.