Friday, February 12, 2010

Nugge soppu palya (Drumstick leaves stir-fry)

Happy Shivaratri. May Lord Shiva bless us all.

Some of my friends here in Singapore had requested me to learn & post some drumstick leaves recipes. These are exceptionally nutritious and moreover, are available in abundance here. :)

Some nutritional information about drumstick leaves:
1. It is given to lactating mothers as it is said to enhance the milk production (rich in calcium).
2. Given to pregnant women, growing children & anemic patients as it is rich in iron.
3. Builds the immunity system of the body as it is rich in vitamin C.
4. It helps overcome malnutrition.
You can find more information about drumstick leaves
here & here.

(Photo courtesy:

Hence, this time when I visited India, I noted down 2-3 recipes using drumstick leaves. This is one of them.

Drumstick leaves/Nugge soppu: 1 bunch (around 250gms)
Yellow moong dal/hesaru bele: 3 tbsp
Water: 1-2 tbsp
Salt: According to taste
Sugar: a pinch (optional)
For tempering:
Oil: 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Shallot onion: 3 nos (finely chopped)
Green chilli: 2-3nos (finely chopped)
Curry leaves: a string
For garnishing
Grated coconut: 1-2 tbsp
Lemon juice: 1 tsp (optional, but recommended)

  • Take out the leaves carefully (this takes the maximum time). Though the stem looks sleek, they are not tender, hence it is a must to take out only the leaves. Wash them thoroughly.
  • Soak the dal/lentil in warm water for 30mins.
  • Heat oil in a broad pan, when oil is hot, add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds splutter, add onion & saute till onion becomes soft. Now add, green chillies, curry leaves & saute for 10-20secs.
  • Add the dal & mix well. Sprinkle water. Cook on a medium heat for 2-3mins
  • Throw in the leaves, mix well. Add 1-2 tbsp water & cook it on a medium flame until the leaves & the lentils are soft yet firm.
  • Add salt, sugar & mix them well. Cook for another 1-2mins.
  • Add the grated coconut, lemon juice. Mix the stir-fry & serve it hot. Goes well as a side dish for rice.

    Drumstick leaves give out a pungent odour while cooking in water. Hence, if your are new to drumstick leaves, add very little water to cook this stir-fry.
    These leaves are a tad bitter, so addition of sugar & lemon to the stir-fry is recommended.

    Last note, though I was a bit skeptical about cooking these leaves in a large quantity (because of the odour), we both liked this stir-fry (I cannot say we absolutely loved it). But, I'm planning to prepare this dish more often to get adapted to this wonderful green leafy vegetable.

    Other recipes using drumstick leaves at Savi-Ruchi
    Drumstick leaves chapathi (this is awesome, as there is no pungent odour while cooking this)
    Drumstick leaves rice roti (same as above)
    Drumstick leaves dal (Good)

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