Agasi Flowers (Sesbania)

Agathi or Agasi Flowers

Sesbania grandifolia, (agathi or agasi) also called the Vegetable Hummingbird Tree and the Scarlet Wisteria, has managed to work its way into warmer areas of the world. Originating in either India or southeast Asia, it grows best in hot, humid areas including south Florida. Sesbania grandifolia flowers are eaten raw in salads, boiled, fried or use in curries, stews and soups. They taste like mushrooms and are rich in iron and sugar. Vietnamese use both varieties (red and white flowers) to make soup. Both types of flowers are less bitter than sesbania sesban flowers, have a crisp texture when eaten raw in salty sweet salad and get a bit more chewy when cooked, when used as ingredients in sour soups.

For the soup one needs 300g agasi flowers, coarsely chopped fresh chives and 1 1/2 tablespoon tamarind juice. Heat cooking pot over a medium heat. Add 2 tablespoon of cooking oil. Once the oil is heated, add in the coarsely chopped fresh chives. Give it a stir. Add flowers and stir well. Add 2 cups of water, cover with the lid and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 tablespoon of tamarind juice to the boiling soup. Season with butter or ghee and serve hot!

One can prepare sesbania flower salad too. Cut flowers into small pieces, add strawberries, pineapple, lettuce and toss well. Add pepper and olive oil. Before serving add lemon juice and serve.

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