258.drumstick (saragvo) curry
can we eat drumsticks?
The scientific name for drumstick tree is moringa oleifera. The evergreen tree has a slender trunk and branches from which hang long slender triangular drumstick like pods. Many tropical countries tend to use the pods and leaves for medicinal purposes and as food. Drumsticks are very popular in India as they are widely used in sambhars in the south, cooked in coconut or other spicy gravies. Its an inexpensive product and therefore considered a poor man’s vegetable. Some regions of India and South East Asian countries also tend to use the tender leaves for cooking. Fresh pods and seeds are a rich source of oleic acid, a health benefiting mono unsaturated fat. The pods are rich in several minerals like copper, zinc, manganese,calcium, magnesium, iron and vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex.
The best way to choose the pods is that they should be green, tender, not split from the ends or middle and not too fat. The fat pods are in the ripenning stage and the seeds may taste a bit bitter. The too thin ones will not have any pulp.
I love using drumsticks or saragvo as its called in Gujarati for sambhar, occasionally in the tuvar dal and most of all I love preparing it using chickpea flour and yogurt. Its a delicious curry that goes well with parathas. Every weekend my grandfather would go to visit his best friend who had a huge farm. He would come back with bundles of drumsticks along with other vegetables. When my mum made the curry or vegetable, we siblings use to have a competition as to who had the biggest pile of the drumstick skins. Usually the fleshy pulp and seeds are eaten along with the gravy.
DRUMSTICK (SARAGVO) CURRY
4 to 6 servings
10 long drumsticks
2½ cups water
¼ to ½ tsp turmeric powder
1½ tsp salt
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
¼ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
a pinch of asafoetida
3 cloves garlic, peel and chop finely
1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp ginger paste
3 tbsp chickpea flour (chana, besan flour)
½ cup sour yogurt
2 tbsps chopped fresh coriander
- Trim the ends of the drumsticks. Wash and cut each drumstick into 2½ to 3 inches pieces.
- Put the cut drumstick pieces into a pressure cooker with the water, salt and turmeric powder.
- Cover the cooker and place over medium heat. Cook the drumsticks for one whistle. Take the cooker off the heat.
- In a wide pan heat oil over low flame. When it is hot add mustard seeds, carom seeds, asafoetida. When the seeds begin to splutter add the chickpea flour and stir continously, till it becomes light pink in colour.
- Add garlic, ginger and chilli and stir fry for a few seconds.
- Add the drumsticks along with the water.
- Mix very gently to avoid the drumsticks from splitting into tiny pieces.
- Simmer the curry till it becomes thick, which will take about 5 minutes.
- Add yogurt and mix gently. Take the pan off the heat.
- Garnish with coriander and serve with parathas.
- I prefer to cook the curry ahead because letting it stay for a while makes it thick. You can heat it up before serving.
- If you don’t want to pressure cook the drumsticks, let it boil in a deep saucepan with salt and turmeric powder till done. You may need extra water.
- Don’t overcook the drumsticks as you don’t want to be left with a mass of sticks only. The drumsticks will split when cooked but should not fall apart completely.
- Remember to stir the curry gently.
- Use spices according to your taste.
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