Me:zali is a medium size tree providing edible leaves and flower buds, grow wild or grown across the country in Myanmar. Its botanical name is Cassia Siamea. In the month of Tazaungmon the first month of Myanmar cold season “Heiman” Lusting four months-Tazaungmon, Nattaw, Pyatho, and Tabodwe, November, December, January and February respectively when the nocturnal firmament is clear and so all heavenly bodies are visible to the naked eyes, all constellations shine bright , one ofmany legends connected with this month is the visit ofthe good of Fire “Agni” to his friend tree god ofme:zali tree . All gods and goddesses of herbal flora would gather at the me:zali tree to admire at and to pay respect to “Agni” the Fire god. Thus the belief is formed that on the full moon night of this month, all curative properties of herbal flora are congregated and concentrated in me:zali tree. Myanmar people therefore make salad of me:zali leaves and flower buds and hold traditional least of eating, feeding and giving it to all comers from all directions as an act of Dana(giving).
Me:zali salad making is very simple. Basically the recipe is the same. Difference lies in local taste. Washed leaves and flower buds are boiled once to get rid of bitterness. In fact me:zali is only slightly bitter. Then the boiled stuff is kneaded with spoon or wooden ladle. Fried sesamum, grounded peanut, fried onion and garlic are added with oil and a reasonable amount of salt and chili powder, if you like. Mix them thoroughly. Put a ladleful amount on banana leaves spread on round low wooden table at which guests set mound on bamboo mats. With hot plain tea from earthier tea pots you enjoy the salad to your fill and delight. You gossip local news or comment on politics with typical Myanmar jokes and sarcasm. You may take home packets of this salad wrapped in leaves. Myanmar herbalists recommend me:zali salad in winter. Your skin dies up due to cold in winter. Oil is necked for your skin. Me:zali salad gives you vegetable oil for your skin. It is perfectly hygienic and tasty to eat this salad made out of all organic stuffs.
Dr Khin Mg Nyunt