Friday, December 12, 2008

Chicken Soup with Green Papaya and Malunggay (Tinola)

When December hits, everything becomes topsy-turvy - at least in my part of the world. Everybody becomes so busy with buying gifts, wrapping presents, delivering presents and enduring the horrendous traffic as well... writing letters to friends and family abroad, attending neighborhood parties, office parties, once-a-year reunions, etc. All of this on top of the regular work and home routine...

And dinner... I still have family to feed. Where am I going to get some more extra time to prepare dinner? I don't. So my best solution is an easy to prepare one-dish filling meal to go with rice.

This is a perfect dish to prepare for this cold December weather, too.

1 kilo chicken, washed, cut to bite sized pieces
1 pc green papaya, peeled, cored, cubed
5 slices fresh ginger
4 T minced garlic
1 bunch moringa or malunggay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
4 C water

1. Saute the ginger in some oil until fragrant. Add the ginger and saute until fragrant. Add in the chicken pieces. Stir fry for a while until it changes color.

2. Add in water and papaya. Boil and simmer until chicken is thoroughly cooked, around 15 to 20 minutes. Add in the malunggay leaves just before turning off the heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Actually, you can just throw in all the ingredients in a pot, let boil and cook. Sauteing the chicken in ginger first before adding the water is a Chinese thing to do, I guess. At least, that was what my grandmother always did.

See? This is a simple, warm, tasty, comforting soup dish that can be easily prepared on a busy night. I don't know why, but the comforting soup calmed me down as well. :)

I thank my next door neighbor W, for the malunggay leaves. She has this malunggay tree that has grown tall - over a storey high, so a portion of the branches and leaves invaded my side of the fence (which is an open parking space). She was apologetic about it, and offered to cut off the invading parts. Of course I told her I am a plant lover, too! No way am I going to waste those precious nutrients! So, I asked her permission to harvest some leaves (at least those that are on my side of the fence) for my cooking instead. We had a deal!

The Moringa tree or Malunggay is a common plant here in the city. It can thrive in the harshest tropical weather and even in poor soil. Which is a good thing because here in the Philippines, it is considered a miracle vegetable. Why? It contains a lot of nutrition and health benefits. Mothers who have just given birth are always required to eat this vegetable everyday. To see the complete health benefits, please check out this article written by a doctor of our Food and Nutrition Research Institute.

Sharing this nutritious and comforting soup dish with the Grow Your Own community, headed and hosted this week by Andrea of Andrea's Recipes. To see the yummy treats in the previous edition, please check out the round-up done by Rachel of the Crispy Cook.


TS of eatingclub vancouver said...

I miss malunggay! Although, I now only have the faintest of faint memories of it. We used to have it pkanteed in the yard a long, long time ago. (20+ years ago!)

Anonymous said...

ahh...i've been longing for tinola for so long. guess i'll be hunting for some malunggay and green papaya this weekend!

Andrea Meyers (Grow Your Own) said...

What a wonderful soup to make. Until GYO, I had never heard of malunggay. I suppose it needs a warm tropical climate to grow?

Soli Deo Gloria said...

Hello TS! Maybe it is time for you guys to take a vacation here... :)

Hello Sleepless in KL! Nothing like a warm comforting soup!

Hello Andrea! Here in this country, it just grows anywhere! Ya, maybe it needs tropical climate to grow. :)

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