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  • Topic: Antioxidant, Sesbania grandiflora, Oxidative stress
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  • Published : August 9, 2011
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Katuray are the flowers of a small tree with light foliage (sesbania grandiflora) that thrives in arid and tough conditions, the often rather bitter tasting flowers (petals mostly) are a classic ingredient in Ilocano cooking. Along with ampalaya (bitter gourd) and other vegetables, they seem to mirror the tough conditions wrought by the geographical realities in the Ilocos region. I suspect many hundreds of years ago someone thought to cook katurai flowers for lack of better food alternatives… The tree is apparently native to this part of the world, some suggesting Indonesia as the epicenter of the species, and its flowers are enjoyed as food in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, etc. I have seen two colors of katuray in the markets, this pale greenish white and a more burgundy colored hue. At the markets this morning, I spotted a gorgeous pile of fresh katuray and purchased 250 grams worth for just PHP12. I had a dish in mind that I wanted to try it out.

Eaten raw, the katuray flower is vile, bitter and astringent, it is worse than a big hunk of raw ampalaya (bitter gourd), in my opinion. I tried to blanch it once and serve it with some fish sauce and it was gross. Obviously I didn’t know what I was doing, but it did not bode well at all. However, I was convinced that this flower was “a diamond in the rough,” so I continued to experiment… always tempted to buy some when a fresh pile of flowers presents itself. Used as fodder for cattle and livestock elsewhere in the world, katuray is one of those ingredients that makes you truly wonder who first discovered it was edible, and were food choices so limited then, that they had to resort to eating this flower/vegetable?! Artichokes, in my opinion, would also fall into that category elsewhere on the planet. And who the heck figured saffron was so hot? At any rate, after several attempts, my use of katuray earlier today yielded utterly superb results, and the recipe is up in the next post, stay tuned…

The substances found in the different parts of these plants promotes or increases the secretion of urine which is then disposed off the body as excess water through urination. Katuray Leaves. The leaves are boiled and made into a tea-like-drink. The Roots are boiled and made into a tea-like-drink

Katuray is a tall and slender tree that
bears long, slender hanging pods about
one foot long, white or wine-red flowers
approximately 5 to 7cm. They are widely
distributed in the country and are usually
found in backyards, along roads and in
lot boundaries.
The young leaves and pods may be
cooked and eaten while flowers and
flower buds are commonly cooked and
used for medicinal purposes.
There are two distinct types of katuray: one bearing white flowers and the other bearing wine or rose-red flowers. Katuray flowers contain water, ash, protein and fat. Katuray thrives in both dry, moist areas. It grows in low altitudes and propagated through seeds and cuttings.

Germinate the seeds in plots and boxes. Transplant the seedling when they are about 75 to 100cm high. If propagated by cuttings, select straight branches with a base diameter of at least 3cm or more. Plant the cuttings immediately in the field to avoid drying. The best time to plant is usually or just before the rainy season.

Sesbania grandiflora Linn. 

|Other scientific names |Common names | |Robinia grandiflora Linn.  |Agati (Hindi) | |Aeschynomene grandiflora Linn. |Diana (Bag.) | |Sesban grandiflorus Loir. |Gauai-gauai (P. Bis.)...
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