Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Postpartum Food : Philippine Native Chicken Soup

My sister Joy gave birth to her second child almost a month ago.  She was finishing her bowl of native chicken soup as we speak to her over skype. Our Mama intentionally cooked the soup for her and she is required to eat this kind of native chicken soup 3 times a day for a week at least and is not allowed to do anything while she is on “tanggad” (recovering from giving birth).  My sister Farah went through the same postpartum recovery ritual  when she gave birth to her first child.

Our Mama and other traditional parents believe that the essence of the native chicken, as a result of slowly boiling them for a few hours under low heat, will aid a woman who just gave birth, to recover faster. And the moringa leaves (malunggay in Tagalog and marunggay in Ilocano) will increase the amount of her breast milk

A little background on the Philippine native chicken.  According to Wikipedia.org “The Philippine Native Chicken is a breed of chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus). They are a utility bird, raised for meat and eggs. They are a popular choice for backyard flocks because of their egg laying abilities and hardiness.”

Note:   This is just one of those special postpartum diets that my Mama prepares for my sisters to help them speed up their recovery and to avoid any postpartum health complications.  I would want her to do the same for me when my time comes :-)


Native Chicken, cut into serving pieces – 1 whole

Green Papaya or sayote – as desired.

Moringa Leaves – lots of it

Water – 2 L

Onion, diced – 2 medium

Ginger, crushed and diced – 1 thumbsize

Garlic, crushed and chopped – 5 large cloves

Vegetable Oil for sautéing

Salt and black pepper to taste

Cooking Procedure.
1. Heat oil in a pan then sauté garlic in it. Add in the ginger, then the onion and stir until the spices are fragrant.
2. Add the chicken and pan-fry it until it releases its juices. Cover the pan and let it simmer under low fire.
3. Add water and the seasoning. Let it simmer under low fire for at least an hour.
4. Add the green papay or sayote and simmer until the chicken and green papay or sayote are cooked.

5.  Remove from fire and add the malunggay leaves.  Let it sit for a minute before serving.

Serve with a bowl of rice.


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