September 02, 2008

Muringya Ela Curry/ Drumstick Leaf curry

Ramazan Mubarak to all my readers!! I don't like to dwell on the religious aspects here as this is a food blog so let me jump to a very popular recipe back home.

Sometimes the things you enjoy the most and yearn for the most are the simplest and easiest to find in the right place and time. But taken out of its context and it becomes a delicacy, a rarity and a treasure.

Muringya ela curry is one of those curries that's made with the leaf of the Drumstick plant. A very common tree, easily grown in most households, it gives really a unique tasting leaf and the luscious drumsticks. The leaves have to be plucked without the stems..quite a labor intensive process best done by a couple or more ladies together with some gossip thrown in to break the monotony of the job.

Now this preparation of the leaves cooked in a coconut gravy goes best with the light Pathiris and tire pathiris.(Recipe coming soon ...) And since both these pathiris are really from the outlying areas of Kozhikode, I think this curry is also originally from the inlands of Malappuram, Vadakara etc.

In Kozhikode, pathiris are served mostly with ishtoo..chicken stew, beef stew, mutton kurma etc..even for breakfast.. but in Malappuram, its only in the last decade or so that meat and fish became readily available and commonly consumed. During my childhood visits to the tharavadu at Malappuram, Pathiris were served with this muringa curry for breakfast. There was a drumstick plant adjacent to the property "compound" wall. The leaves were then plucked by us kids, climbing on the wall and stretching precariously to reach the upper leaf laden branches. A couple of falls each time with some minor scrapes were common too.
The Malappuram pathiris are so thin and airy that dunking them with this curry, two folds down and you can easily down a good number of them without blinking.

On the east coast here, we haven't seen Muringa/Muringya leaf yet in the Indian stores though its available in the West coast. So we really enjoyed this curry at our parent's house for breakfast and even got it for dinner at my aunt's house who made it especially for me. So if you get this leaf in CA or Dallas, here is the recipe to go with it.

You Will Need:
Drumstick Leaves: 1 cup
Green chilies- 2
red Chili Powder- 1/2 tsp (more or less as per taste)
Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
Coconut grated: 1 cup
Shallots- 3, very thinly sliced
Curry leaves
Oil for seasoning.

Wash the drumstick leaves well. Take care not to have any bits of the stem. Cook the leaves with the slit green chilies, turmeric, chili powder and salt in 1 1/2 cup water for about 10 minutes. Grind the coconut with 1/2 cup water to a very fine paste and add to the cooked leaves. Allow the whole mixture to boil once. Adjust salt as required. Some people add garlic and cumin seeds to the coconut while grinding but its optional.
Heat the teaspoon of oil and fry the shallots till light brown and then add the curry leaves. Pour this oil over the curry. Serve with Pathiri, chapathi or triangle porotta.


Sands | കരിങ്കല്ല് said...

ivide muringa ila poyittu...
murringakkaya polum kittanilla! :(

lajjayille.. ingane naattukaare kothippikkan! :(

ennu, oru paavam theethakkaaran - Germany-l ninnu! :(

Sudha Rajagopalan said...

Quite a blog you got here, love the pictures and the posts. I didn't come across any other folks other than Tamil Nadu folks that cook these leaves. Once I made thoran style and served it to a Hydrebadi friend, poor thing, she didn't know how to react, but her face was telling me that she wanted to get it out of her mouth as quickly as possible. It seems to be an acquired taste, but me and my folks love it. There is also a recipe with plantain flower and drumstick leaves, yummy, thanks for the recipe.

yasmeen said...

I didn't know drumsticks leaves are edible. Curry looks healthy.
Ramadan mubarak to you too:)

sra said...

Ramzan greetings to you too! I've eaten a stir-fry with this just once, with peanuts.

indosungod said...

Shaheen, they are my favorite. A Simple stir fry, tastes far better than any meat dish :) But the curry you have cooked up with it is pretty new to me. Got to try but I have not seen them here.

Anonymous said...

oh, i did n't know abt the muringa leaves curry and pathiri combination....
back home, the day 'muringa illa' makes an entry, my fathr says its a sign for him to go n buy veggies.
my mom adds dal to it, as it more a 'lunch curry'..;)

Jyothsna said...

I'm a big fan of muringa ela vechudachathu... I bought muringa ela once here and they turned out to be so bitter!

Anonymous said...

Good to see you back in action madam!
Got a Drumstick tree in our backyard... so we do have this once in a while -as long as someone can separate the leaves from the twigs!

bee said...

of all the greens, this is my favourite. haven't eaten it in many many years.

GEETA said...

Great photos. Haven't seen this recipe anywhere.
This was a favorite recipe of our Tamilian friends. How anxiously they waited for the tender leaves to come out and then when my mother invited them to help themselves, they made a curry with them and shared it with us.

renuramanath said...

Muringa ela is a regular item in our homes, the only problem being, of course, picking the leaves ! usually we make a thoran, with coconut or a curry with dal and coconut paste. its a rich store house of calcium and helps to control blood pressure. a handful of muringa ela kept in the hot rice and eaten some time later is said to be good for regulating BP.

Diane said...

I love, love, LOVE drumstick leaves and have craved them ever since I first tried them on a visit to Kerala, but for a long time couldn't find them. No more, happily.

Here on the West Coast I almost never find them at the Indian stores, but here's a tip..They are called "Marungay" in one of the Filipino languages. And if you look around where Filipinos shop you can often find them there. Here in CA 99 Ranch (a big Asian supermarket chain) often has them also. Mmmmmmmmm....

Anonymous said...

I love muringa ila curry. Havent had this since I moved to US. I didnt know about the pathiri combo though I am from Malappuram.

Thanks for the recipe. And Ramadan mubarak to you :)

Varsha Vipins said...

thats a nice curry..yummy..nostalgic..cos we don get it here..

ampily said...

muringa ila kond curry adyamayi anu kelkkunne .will try it...thx

Vetri Sudar N Jagan said...

i love muruga we get it in us? anyone know abt it?

Anonymous said...

Many thanks blogger!
I have been searching for Muringaila curry on youtube and eventually got from here!
I have muringa ila here and my mom's muringaila curry reminded me of making one with it. Hope it would come out well.
In London we get muringa ila, fresh chakka pazham, etc.. etc., ...