Moringa has numerous applications in cooking throughout its regional distribution. It may be preserved by canning but is often made into a variety of curry dishes by mixing with coconut, poppy seeds, and mustard or boiled until the drumsticks are semisoft and consumed directly without any extra processing or cooking. It is used in curries, sambars, Kormas, and dals, although it is also used to add flavor to cutlets and other recipes.
The fruit meat of drumsticks, including young seeds, is used for soup. Young leaves can either be fried with shrimp or added as a topping in fish soup. Several traditional dishes use leaves (sluc) of the moringa tree known as daum m'rum, such as korko (a mixed vegetable soup). As it is a favorite vegetable, Cambodians traditionally grow moringa trees close to their residences.
Tender drumstick leaves, finely chopped, are used as garnish for vegetable dishes and salads. It is also used in place of or along with coriander. In some regions, the flowers are gathered and cleansed to be cooked with besa to make pakoras
The leaves may be fried and mixed with dried-fried tuna chips, onions and dried chillies. This is equivalent to a sambal and eaten along with rice and curry. Soup is made with the leaves and rice, and eaten especially for breakfast during Ramadan. It is also a common ingredient in an omelet. The pods are used to cook a mild curry.
Flowers may be first separated from the stem, boiled, mashed, and cooked. Other regions of Indian cuisine often uses moringa seed pods and leaves in curries. The long moringa seed pods are cut into shorter lengths and stewed in curries and soups. Because they are fibrous, seed pods are often chewed to extract the juices and nutrients, with the remaining fibrous material discarded. The flowers are mixed with gram flour and other spices, then deep fried into fritters to be served as snacks or added to curries.
The green pods, leaves, and flowers are used in a variety of Thai dishes, such as curries, stir-fries, soups, omelets, and salads. A traditional dish is sour Thai curry made with drumstick pods and fish.
Moringa leaves are commonly added to broth as a simple soup. The leaves may also be used as a typical ingredient in tinola, a traditional chicken dish consisting of chicken in a broth, moringa leaves, and either green papaya or another vegetable or in the all vegetable dish known as utan. The leaves can also be processed with olive oil and salt for a pesto-like pasta sauce. Moringa juice may be mixed with lemonsito juice to make ice candies or cold drinks. In Indonesia, the leaves are commonly eaten in a clear vegetable soup, often with corn, spinach and coconut milk.