The exotic sounding superfood is actually very familiar for most Balinese
Perched in a small weaved basket next to stacks of veggies and fruits is a plastic packaging containing a green powder. First guess: matcha powder (because it sure does smell like one), but it’s a bit jarring that the person who is selling it is an elderly Balinese woman who is selling her fresh produce at the Green School’s farmer’s market.
So what is it? “It’s moringa,” the old lady says. But what is it in Indonesian? “It’s daun kelor,” she answers. Everything sounds a lot more upscale in English, but as it turns out, the relatively new “superfood” is none other than the humble daun kelor, a tree that is widespread in Indonesia, not excluding Bali. Almost every home in Bali has the moringa tree and the leaves are commonly used for cooking with taste and texture similar to spinach. Indeed, the leaves (daun) are loaded with vitamins (A and C), calcium, iron, potassium, and interestingly the highest protein content of any plant discovered thus far. Recently, a group of moringa farmers in Tabanan concocted a syrup made from the leaves’ extract. The product was borne from a collaboration with college students who experimented with the plant, to which the University of Udayana provides further credence through inspecting its quality at their lab.
The taste itself is quite earthy, perfect for tea, or as the radiant elderly lady recommends, “try it with lemon or lime, then add some honey.” Sounds like a morning fix to us!