25 November 2014

Drumstick leaves curry|Muringa ila curry-A Mallu speciality

Last week,for three days straight,I was dating "Moringa Oleifera".Shhhhh between me and YOU ...Don't tell Honey P ,otherwise he'll be likeMad smiley bending rod....Doesn't it sound like the male version of the beautiful actress Sofia Vergara ? .Actually,I meant drumstick leaves and Moringa Oleifera is as a matter of fact, the botanical name of the mighty tree and you also thought Free Laughing. Ha..Got ya !

Did you notice (Mallus), the Malayalam word for drumstick tree is "Muringa" ,almost similar to the botanical name,Moringa? Interesting right !

When these leaves are (almost) available in every household back in India in abundant ,here in US,it is exotic ,very rarely available and the very sight of them will make your stuck jaw simply drop or droop and your eyeballs fall out and mouth wide open ,as if you just saw a magical vegetable item in the grocery shop ...Well,that's exactly what happens to me ,even though I am not a big fan of these leaves but yes, it's like every leaves, have some kind of memories attached to it.


The most memorable one is, as I said in my last post ,my amma darling roaring like a lioness and then lecturing all the multi-benefits of this leaves ,which I never dared to listen.

However,guess what, I was googling the correct word for drumstick leaves in Malayalam and my jaws again dropped ,this time almost touching the ground  ,when I read ,this humble common tree in every (almost) home in India is not something that usual ,it is in fact quite unusual.

Moringa trees also known as the horseradish tree ,is actually called ,"The tree of life/The miracle tree".Experts all over the world believe the drumstick leaves are loaded with a variety of vitamins,minerals,proteins and amino acids with less carbs and calories than any other leafy vegetables and so, is considered to be an ideal plant that can play a significant role to eradicate "Malnutrition" all over the word.

The drumstick leaves contain -

• 4 times the vitamin A of carrots
• 7 times the vitamin C of oranges
• 4 times the calcium of milk
• 3 times the potassium of bananas
• 2 times the protein of yogurt

It is also a rich source of iron having almost 3/4th of the amount present in spinach leaves and has 18 of the 20 amino acids required by the human body including all 8 of the essential amino acids found in meat products.

As per Ayurveda,about "300" diseases are curable using this very humble drumstick leaves.Believe it or not !! (Credit:Medindia)


Phew..Fainting...now I know what made my mom,to roar like a lioness and why the lecture of how awesome these leaves are, used to be little longer comparatively?

Like Peepal tree that Hindus worship in India,this tree sounds like equally eligible to be worshipped !JAI HO!!

 Unlike my first drumstick leaves recipe which is my hubby's favorite ,today's recipe is almost every Mallu's favorite back in Kerala.

Drumstick leaves aka muringa illa (in Malayalam)  curry.A very simple and quick to make curry made with of course our drumstick leaves and a ground paste of Kerala's own coconut ,cumin and garlic.It goes so well with hot rice and any side dish.A simple Kerala delight.

Here is how I make drumstick leaves curry a.k.a (as always my mom's version) muringa illa curry.

Muringa illa curry


Drumstick leaves,(destalked,washed & cleaned well) - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Water- 1& 1/2 cup
Salt to taste

To Grind:
Coconut,grated - 1 cup
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Garlic cloves,medium -1-2
Water - 1/4 cup

For Tempering:
Coconut oil/cooking oil - 1-2 tablespoons
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Dry red chillies,broken - 2 nos.
Shallots,chopped - 1 tablespoon
Curry leaves - One stalk


  • Grind the coconut,cumin,garlic,water into a very fine paste.Keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds.Add the shallots and saute till they become translucent followed by broken red chillies.Finally add the curry leaves and saute everything well for a few seconds.
  • Now add the drumstick leaves to it and saute until it wilts .
  • Now, add in the ground paste of coconut mixture.
  • Saute for a second.Add water till the desired gravy consistency is reached (little by little).
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Let it simmer on medium-low heat BUT don't allow it to ever boil .
  • When it reaches the boiling point,switch off the heat.Serve immediately with hot rice.
  • Pluck the leaves properly without any tiny stems.The leaves should look fresh and should not be wilted or with spots otherwise it will taste bitter.
  • Adjust the curry consistency by adding more or less water.
  • Coconut oil gives it a Mallu special flavor to it.

I love this curry for its simplicity and yet the amazing Kerala flavor it carries .Love having it with rice and fried fish and any thorans by side.How yummy !...Man ..I am drooling.....Time for my pettpuja (time to fill my stomach:P)......