Murungai ilai varai

The second recipe I would like to share today is my mother’s murungai ilai recipe. Rich in iron and calcium, murungai (moringa oleifera) is very much part of Jaffna cuisine.

Murungai ilai

Murungai ilai Varai/stir fry

Time taken: 25 – 30 mins

Serves 2 – 3 persons

Murungai ilai varai


  • Murungai ilai/ Moringa leaves – 1 ½ cups
  • Fennel seeds –1 tsp
  • Green chillies – 2, chopped
  • Onion – ½, chopped
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Coconut scraped – 1 tbsp
  • Curry powder – 1 tsp or pepper – ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sesame oil, as required


  1. Wash and clean the bunch of murungai ilai. Extract the leaves from the stalk.
  2. Drain off the water and chop the leaves finely. Sprinkle with salt and keep aside.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a pan. Saute the chopped onion, green chillies and curry leaves with fennel seeds.
  4. Add the salted leaves to the pan. Increase the heat and stir fry for about 10 mins.
  5. Now, add the freshly scraped coconut and curry powder or pepper and mix well.
  6. Continue to stir fry for another 5 mins before emoving from heat.
  7. Serve hot with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.


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