The fruit of malunggay or Moringa is an excellent ingredient for the authentic “pinakbet” of the Ilocanos. Oh yes, there are so-called “pinakbet” being served in Metro Manila but they are not the real ones, that Ilocanos who know will tell you. In Ilocos, for instance, squash is a no-no in Ilocano pinakbet. But it is being used in the Tagalog region.
Anyway, the malunggay fruit goes best with many other vegetables that include okra, sitao, patani, ampalaya, patola, tomato, eggplant, batao, alokon and others.
The beauty about the Indian malunggay is that the pods are very long, practically two times the length of the ordinary malunggay. Which means that one need only a few fruits for cooking pinakbet for a family of five or more.
The Indian malunggay fruit tastes just like the common malunggay that you and I know. The accompanying photo was taken on April 15, 2019 at the Sarian Farm in Teresa, Rizal. Some of the fruits are going to be used for producing seedlings.
Cooked with “bagnet” or broiled mudfish or catfish, the “pinakbet” with malunggay fruit is simply delicious.