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How to Make Drumstick (Moringa) Curry

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Drumstick curry (drumstick palya)

Drumstick curry (drumstick palya)

A Quick Look at Making Drumstick Curry

When you hear "drumstick" or "moringa," your first thought is likely of a chicken leg! Did you know that there's a drumstick plant? There is—and it makes delicious curry.

Drumsticks are the edible seed pods of this plant. They are in the form of long sticks with tasty flesh and seeds inside. People can eat the tender sticks. Mature seed pods become hard and turn slightly bitter, leaving them inedible. Still, I have heard of people using mature seeds like dried green peas.

These plants are nutritious and fibrous. Drumsticks and the leaves of the plant are both high in vitamin C. They are a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.

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Drumstick curry, also known as drumstick palya, is made by parboiling the leaves and then cooking them with spices. The curry recipe I'm going to show you here is very simple. You can serve this curry as a side dish for curd rice or with any type of rice or flatbread. These spicy drumsticks also taste good on their own. Eat the juicy flesh and discard the hard cover.

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

5 min

20 min

Serves four people


For the curry:

  • 4 to 5 drumsticks, cut in 2 1/2-inch lengths
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 3 to 4 dry red chilies
  • 1/8 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp, soak tamarind in warm water for 30 minutes. Squeeze to get the pulp
  • 1 teaspoon jaggery powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

For the tempering:

  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 2 teaspoons oil


  1. Wash drumsticks. Cut them in 2 1/2-inch length pieces. Parboil them, adding just sufficient water and a little salt. You can do this using a pressure cooker also. Set aside.
  2. Dry-grind grated coconut, mustard seeds, and red chilies. Make a coarse mix. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a deep-bottomed pan. Throw in the mustard seeds and curry leaves for the tempering. Let the mustard seeds splatter. Add parboiled drumsticks. Lower the fire. Add turmeric powder, jaggery, and salt. Gently turn drumsticks and mix. Allow the contents to cook. It may take about 3-4 minutes. Cover the pan for faster cooking.
  4. Add tamarind pulp and mix well. Cook till the contents somewhat dries up.
  5. Add coconut mixture. Gently turn and mix the contents so that the drumsticks do not break or open. Continue cooking for 30 seconds. Turn off the fire.
  6. The drumstick curry is ready to eat. You can eat a few pieces alone or use it as a side dish for rice, flatbread, or for any main course meal.

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