Drumstick masala
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Drumstick Masala | Drumstick side dish

Drumstick Masala, a south Indian vegan gourmet stir fry made with simple ingredients. Drumstick/ Moringa/ Murungakkai is a long, green slender vegetable which is commonly found in Indian shops. The flower, the leaves and the whole vegetable is edible. And here is a simple recipe for drumstick masala.

Drumstick, the vegetable got the name because of its looks which resemble the part of musical instrument. Scientifically known as Moringa Oliefera, it derives its name from the Tamil word ‘Murungai’ denoting a twisted pod. In contrast to its looks, the slender drumstick is filled with nutrients. The leaves(rich in vitamin c and many many minerals) can be made into a dry curry, the pod with seeds can be used in various dishes like dal, curries, fry etc..,

We have a drumstick tree in our backyard and some of my fondest memories with it are during the fruit bearing season. We would pluck the drumsticks which were present high up on the branches(these trees tend to grow very tall at a very fast rate, within some months), using a stick with knife attached at the end. It would be like small fun family activity at home. Following that would be a delicious lunch comprising of rice , drumstick dal or drumstick masala along with drumstick leaf dry curry.

The drumstick masala recipe that I am going to tell you now is a part of this delicious lunch. Hope you cook it well and thoroughly enjoy it.

Drumstick Masala | Drumstick side dish for rice

Recipe by Syed AsmaCourse: MainCuisine: South IndianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • Oil – 2 tbsp

  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp

  • Curry leaves – Few

  • Onion – 1 medium sized, Diced

  • Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp

  • Tomato – 2 medium sized, chopped

  • Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp

  • Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp or to taste

  • Coriander powder – 1/4 tsp

  • Turmeric – 1/4 tsp

  • Salt – to taste

  • Green chilies – 2

  • Drumstick – 4, cut into finger sized pieces

  • Water – 1 cup

  • Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp, chopped


  • Heat oil in a kadai. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds.
  • Now, add curry leaves and then add diced onion. Sauté the onion until they are completely soft and transparent.
  • Add Ginger Garlic paste and sauté until the raw smell of ginger garlic paste goes away.
  • Now, add chopped tomatoes and sauté until the tomatoes are soft.
  • Once the tomatoes are soft add 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp coriander powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric and salt to taste. Mix everything well and cook for another 5- 7 minutes until the oil releases.
  • Now, add 2 slit green chilies and drumstick ( cut into finger sized peices). Mix everything well.
  • Once everything is mixed well, add 1 cup water. The quantity of water depends on how fresh the drumstick is so do not add too much water at once. Start with 1/2 cup of water and add more if needed (i.e if drumstick isn’t cooked add another 1/2 cup).
  • Once the water is added, mix everything well and close the lid and cook on medium flame for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes open and check if the drumstick is cooked, if it is not cooked then cook for another 5 minutes.
  • This drumstick masala should not be very liquidy as it is not a gravy. If there is any water left after the drumstick is cooked, open and cook until the water evaporates
  • Drumstick Masala is ready. Serve with a steaming hot bowl of rice and dal.

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