Drumstick curry with tomato gravy.
Update: This vegetable is being promoted by The Himalayan Universe. They are promoting munaga kaya for its miraculous properties to eliminate malnutrition among poor children.
Munaga kaaya or Munaga kaara is popularly known as Drumsticks all over India, the reason they got the name from the fact that they do resemble the musical drumsticks. The drumstick tree is often referred as horseradish tree and the botanical name is Moringa oleifera.
Drumsticks are widely used in Indian cooking, especially in South India. The drumsticks are green skinned, tough, grows 1-2 feet long, and is a sticklike vegetable, which is surprisingly soft and fleshy inside. The opaque white flesh, surround the seeds ( shaped like a pea), covered in layers of skins, is sweetish and nutty, fragrant, and tasty to eat, when cooked.
Also the leaves are used a lot in Indian cooking which is highly nutritious, contains good source of beta-carotene, Vitamin C, protein, iron and potassium. Often these leaves are cooked with lentils and potatoes, used as a substitute for fresh spinach.
In some places even the flowers are used in cooking. This tree is a good source for calcium and phosphorus.
Drumsticks tomato curry is a simple sweet, tangy and spicy gravy curry, cooked with onions, tomatoes, minimal spices (like chilli powder and turmeric) and aromatic curry leaves .Sweet and creamy flesh drumsticks absorb all the flavors of tomatoes, onions and spices all the way when cooked has an irresistible taste and satisfies everyone’s taste which can served with rice and roties (Indian bread). Drumstick sambar (lentil stew) is a popular dish all over India.
Fresh tender drumsticks (4-5)
1 onion finely chopped
2-3 green chillies (chopped)
3-4 tomatoes chopped
1 twig of curry leaves
Fistful of coriander leaves (chopped)
Red chilli powder (accord to taste)
1/4th tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1-2 cups water
1 red chilis broken into pieces
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of hing
2 tbsp cooking oil
Cut drumsticks into 1″-1 ½ ” long pieces. Heat oil in a shallow pan and add the seasoning ingredients and sauté allow mustard seeds to splutter, put the curry leaves, chopped onions and chillies, turmeric and sauté till onions turn translucent. Now add red chilli powder, chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes become soft and mushy (it takes around 5-6 minutes). Add salt, drumsticks and 1-1 ½ cup water, cover the pan and allow it to cook on a low flame. Keep stirring in between till done (its takes 20-25 minutes). Add water if needed and adjust the seasoning. Cook for couple more minutes, turn off the heat garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or choice of meal.
Notes and Tips
Do not over cook the drumsticks, don’t stir too much as the drumsticks will fall apart. You can slightly scrape the ridges (with peeler) if you want. The gravy should not be runny or thick. You can add little yogurt or cream at the end if you like. You can also add garlic. You can also use frozen drumsticks for this curry but the fresh tastes really good.
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