Pesto With A Twist; Add Some Moringa To It
Image Credit: Moringa Leaves

Moringa is a plant that has been widely praised around the world for its many health benefits. From lowering cholesterol to being rich in antioxidants, the leaves have been celebrated as being the superfood that everyone should include in their diet. Closer home, the moringa leaf has been an active part of our cuisines in the form of sambar, parathas, chutneys and in salads. Similar to the coconut tree, all parts of the moringa tree have been utilised for multiple purposes. While the fruit from the moringa tree is one that is a common sight, lost Indian culinary traditions show how the leaves were a large part of culinary and medicinal practices.

Keeping wellness and seasonality as the focus of our everyday eating, adapting recipes with hyperlocal tweaks and ingredient swaps can prove to be beneficial in more ways than one – right from supporting our farmers, practicing sustainable eating patterns and contributing to our culture’s wide plethora of dishes. This interesting take on the classic basil pesto, made with moringa leaves, highlights the flavours of the key ingredient while not meandering too far from the original recipe. Add it to pastas, or mix it with sour cream to make a creamy and delicious dip to serve with crusty bread. Alternatively, this pesto is delicious in a salad dressing or even heaped on top of grilled chicken or fish. Here’s how to make it:

Moringa Pesto



  • 1 cup moringa leaves
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 7-8 cashews
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Salt to taste


  • In a dry pan, toast the sesame seeds and cashews separately until they begin to turn a light shade of brown. Remove them onto a plate and allow them to cool. In a blender jar, add the moringa and basil leaves along with the lime juice and grind to a coarse paste.
  • Once done, add the toasted sesame and cashew nuts, garlic and oil and grind until smooth. Season with salt and store in an air-tight jar for up to one week.