I am not a big fan of Drumstick but I like to eat it in certain dishes where its flavors are alluring. Drumstick thokku, Drumstick Masala, Drumstick puli Kulambu are few examples. My husband, on the other hand, likes drumstick in sambar rather than eating it with some other dishes. So, most of the time drumsticks go with sambar in my house. My hubby never forgets to pick one or two on every visit to Indian shop when we stayed abroad. But there, Drumsticks are mostly overpriced owing to scarcity / less demand.
I grew up in South India where I have seen Drumstick growing in trees at the backyard of every house. I have never seen people buying drumsticks from the market in the place where I grew up. Any one of my neighbors would cultivate it in their farm where the annual turnover is high. They, would share a bundle or two with us.
Drumstick is a long, slender vegetable having triangular sided seeds. The leaves, flower and the whole vegetable is edible and is part of many South Indian cuisines for years. Now note this is not funny, but there are many people who might wonder how to eat this vegetable, since its skin is thick, green and fibrous which can be omitted while eating. There are two common ways of relishing a drumstick. Few people simply chew the entire piece, extract pulp and juice while chewing, omitting the fibrous part. Few separate juicy pulpy part, some even remove the seeds (mature seeds tastes bitter) by hand. Few scrape out the pulpy inside part using their teeth while eating. If you having this vegetable for the first time, I would recommend you to try Drumstick thokku which uses only fleshy part of the drumstick.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Drumstick - 6 nos.,
Onion - 2 nos, medium size, finely chopped
Tomato - 2 nos., medium size, grind it to a fine paste
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoons
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Water - as required
Red chilli powder - 2 teaspoons
Coriander Powder - 2 teaspoons
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Coconut - 1/3 cup, grated
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Garlic - 5 cloves
1) Clean and chop drumstick into 3 inch length pieces. Partially peel off the skin while cutting. Keep immersed in water.
2) Heat oil in a wide pan. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves and allow it to splutter.
3) Add onion and saute till it becomes soft and translucent.
4) Add ground tomato and cook till the raw smell of the tomato goes off. It will take few minutes.
5) Add the drumsticks after draining the water. Add 1/2 cup of water. Reduce the flame and cover the pan using lid till the drumsticks get cooked well.
6) Add the red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Stir well till the raw smell of the masala goes off, say about 2 minutes.
7) Grind the coconut with cumin seeds and 1/4 cup of water. The ground paste should be smooth. Add this to the pan and stir well so that the ground paste blends with the drumsticks well.
8) Let it cook for 1-2 more minute(s) and turn off the flame.
9) Serve hot with accompaniment with hot steamed rice and any of your favourite gravy.
1) Try choosing smooth, green coloured drumstick for making this curry. Few drumsticks have seeds bulging out from its skin which are matured one, has less flesh and seeds might taste bitter. It should be in between, neither matured nor tender.
2) You can also reduce the red chilli powder quantity and add few green chillies while grinding the coconut.