Drumstick scientifically called as Moringa oleifera is commonly known as Shevaga (in Marathi), Murungai (Tamil), Muringnga (Malayalam) and Munagakaya (Telugu) in different Indian languages. Drumstick is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Moringa comes from the Moringaceae family. In South India, it is used to prepare a variety of sambar and is also fried.
In other parts of India, especially West Bengal and Bangladesh, it is made into a variety of curry dishes by mixing with coconut, poppy seeds, and mustard or boiled until the drumsticks are semi-soft 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, etc.
In Maharashtra, the pods are used in sweet & sour curries called Aamatee. Tender drumstick leaves, finely chopped, are used as garnish for vegetable dishes, dals, sambars, salads, etc. It is also used in place of or along with coriander, as these leaves have high medicinal value. In some regions the flowers are gathered and cleansed to be cooked with besan to make pakoras.
Drumstick leaves or Muranga Keerai is considered the ‘Queen of all Greens’ as it is valued for having the richest source of beta carotene among all green leafy vegetables. Drumstick tree also known as Moringa Oleifera is basically a very common tree widely grown across India and grown in backyard of most Indian homes.
There is a saying that if you have a drumstick plant in your garden that symbolizes that you have a doctor at home. It is the best home remedial medicine used for curing most of the common diseases and is the most recommended spinach variety for all the age groups. From the bottom of the plant to the end of the plant, every part is used for many medicinal purposes.
The root, stem, branches, flowers, gum on the surface of the branches, vegetable and leaves are the raw materials for many medicines. Fresh greens and tender seedpods are used extensively in the cooking in Asia, Africa and Caribbean cuisine. In cooking however, the long, immature green drumsticks and the highly nutritious leaves are most commonly used to prepare a wide variety of dishes in South and South East Asia. Drumstick leaves is a powerhouse with innumerable health benefits.
Doctor suggests the intake of drumstick leaves in your regular diet especially for diabetic patients as they have the power of reducing the sugar levels in the blood. Thus do include drumstick leaves in your diet at least once a week and protect yourself from certain degenerative diseases.
They are also rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C. Because of the diversity of ways in cultural and varied cuisines, they are prepared in various ways; one can make a variety of dishes from the drumstick fruit, leaves or flowers. Some of the popular recipes are Drum Stick Leaves(Muringa Leaves) Erissery, Drumstic Flower Peera, Drumstic Pickle, Kathirikkai Murungakkai Masala (Brinjal Drumstick Masala) etc. Below listed are some of the popular drumstick recipes that I love to prepare:
Drumstick Tomato Curry Drumstick tomato curry is a simple dish, drumsticks pieces cooked in a mildly spiced tomato gravy.
Dal Curry with Drumstick – Murungakai Poricha Kuzhambu A very tasty and mouth-watering kuzhambu! We can make poricha kuzhambu using a lot of vegetables. This recipe is made with drumsticks. everyone just love the drumsticks flavor in this kuzhambu.
Drumstick Leaves Adai Drumstick leaves Adai is popularly known as Murungai Keerai Adai in southern India. It is an exceptional crepe made from the combination of at least two lentils and rice; drumstick leaves added in the batter and cooked to perfection makes this dish remarkably nutritious.
Traditionally this is a tiffin dish usually had for breakfast. This variation of adai taste good when you use a little extra oil and cook it on low flame. The fresh ground coconut gives a nice crunch when you bite into the adai. Drumstick leaves are rich in iron compared to other greens. This adai goes well with sambar.
Chicken & Drumstick Leaves Stir Fry A wonderful and healthy combination of chicken cooked with drumstick leaves and spices giving a unique taste and flavour.
Drumstick Leaves Dal (Murungakeerai Paruppu) Drumstick Leaves Dal – Murungakeerai is high in vitamins,proteins etc., and is very high in nutritious. These leaves provides essential amount of iron and calcium for women especially, these are also widely used in siddha medicine in India. Here in my dish i have added toor dal to these leaves so that in enhances the taste.
Aloo Drumstick Aloo & drumstick leaves is an excellent and popular combination. They can be added to curries, stews etc. Potato is a versatile ingredient and taste good when added to tender leaves of drumstick cooked with spices gives a brilliant aroma, makes it a flavourful curry with scrumptious thick gravy. This curry goes well with chapati, roti, naan or rice.
Afrodisiac Drumstick & Mutton Curry Meat lovers will relish this mutton curry which is cooked in combination with drumsticks. The meat becomes succulent and flavourful from the slow simmering to absorb the spices and the drumsticks give the taste buds a good tingle. Very easy preparation and makes a good curry with hot rice or roti.
Shrimps/ Prawns with Drumstick leaves Drumstick leaves used in any type of curry or stir fries remarkably makes a tremendous difference in the flavours of the dish. Highly nutritious and has a unique taste. Succulent pieces of marinated prawns cooked with slightly fried drumstick leaves along with a tinge of tanginess from the tamarind juice and spices make this dish truly blissful. Goes extremely well with rice, roti or chapatti!
Drum stick greens Sundal Curry Murunga keerai Sundal curry is a very popular and authentic dish of the Tamilians.Sundal or chickpeas or kondakadalai cooked along with the tender leaves of drumstick tree are highly nutritious and made with grams (chickpeas) soaked overnight and then boiled.
It is then cooked and tossed in a mildly spiced seasoning mixture along with freshly grated coconut and served. Chickpeas are always tasty and a very versatile ingredient. Murunga keerai sundal curry makes a great side dish that can be eaten with rice, chapatti or roti.
Sambhar with Greens A traditional lunch menu of South India is incomplete without sambar and usually sambar is prepared using a variety of vegetables, okra sambar being one such. Greens are used in the preparation of keerai sambar.Healthy greens combined with dal, make this a wholesome lunch menu. Do give this drumstick greens i.e. murungai keerai sambar a try.
Shallot Curry – Ulli Theeyal Recipe Shallot curry or Ulli Theeyal is a popular south Indian side dish made with shallots or baby onions and drumsticks cooked in a tangy tamarind gravy.
Sambhar Lentil based south Indian dish, slightly tangy to taste combined with a mix of vegetables, spices, and freshly ground sambar powder that gives a thumping aroma all over the house.
Val Vangi Batatachi Baaji – Brinjal & Potato CurryTypical Maharashtrian curry made combined with Val or broad beans, eggplant and potatoes cooked together in spicy and flavourful gravy.
Drumstick Vada (Murungaikai Vadai) Do try these popular drumstick recipes and delight your palate with different variations.
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Enjoy Cooking! Keep Smiling…