Niger. I picked a warm green salad called kopto made with an ingredient I hadn’t eaten since childhood – moringa (drumstick leaves). My parents had a tree in the garden. The pods, more commonly used in South Indian cuisine, were regulars at the dining table when drumstick was in season. During off-season, the leaves picked up the slack, perking up a dhal or stew. The tree was under constant attack by a vicious species of hairy caterpillar. The invaders would coalesce into a furry blanket and wrap themselves around the trunk before proceeding to gnaw and gorge on bark and foliage. The preferred method to destroy them was by smoking or torching as physical contact would irritate the skin. But the blighters won the long game with their relentless sieges; the mortally wounded tree was finally put out of its misery.
Where will I find fresh moringa leaves in London, I asked a Nigerian colleague. Fresh is unlikely but try East Street Market in Walworth, you might get them dried or frozen, he replied.
Full article at https://cookeverycountry.wordpress.com/2020/02/22/dabous-giraffes/
#niger #nigerien #kopto #eaststreetmarket #walworth