Drumstick Curry/ Saragva Nu Shaak

April 24, 2013mayurisjikoni

What is Drumstick?

Drumstick is a long slender and triangular pod that grows from the branches of a tree whose biological name is Moringa Oleifera. Also known as just moringa tree, drumstick tree, horseradish tree (the roots taste like horseradish) or benzolive tree (named so because of the oil from the seeds), these trees are commonly found in the tropical and subtropical regions of South Asia, Middle East and some parts of Africa.


Miracle Tree – health benefits of Moringa

Drumstick tree is known as the miracle tree in Africa and rightly so as its got so many health benefits right from the roots, bark, the pods (fruits, yes it is a fruit and not a vegetable),seeds, leaves and flowers. 

  • Moringa is a superfood for diabetics as it helps to regulate the blood sugar levels.
  • An excellent source of B vitamins like niacin, riboflavin and vitamin B12, which  play a vital role in improving your digestive health. B vitamins help to break down the foods and make it easier to digest. 
  • Its high in dietary fibre which aids digestion.
  • Rich in calcium and iron, it helps to build strong bones, prevents loss of bone density and increases stamina and overall health.
  • Its believed that drumsticks have blood purifying properties and act like antibiotic agent.
  • Rich in Vitamin C and anti inflammatory properties, drumsticks relieve respiratory disorders as it prevents the growth of allergies in the respiratory tract.
  • Anti – bacterial properties in drumstick help to ward off colds and coughs during the cold season.
  • Helps to reduce bad cholesterol.


Moringa Powder:

Increasingly, the best way to conserve the nutritional value of moringa is by drying the fresh leaves and grinding them into a powder. The nutritional value in the powder form remains high.

  • Chlorophyll and anti-aging compound levels are higher in dried leaves than in fresh ones.
  • The dried leaves contain more vitamin A than carrots, more calcium than milk and more protein than yogurt, more vitamin C than oranges, more iron than spinach and more potassium than bananas.
  • It’s one of the few plants that contains what is known as the complete protein. It easily can compete with animal based protein. It contains all the essential amino acids.


Drumstick as Food:

Commonly, the pods are cooked to make a vegetable side dish or sabji(shaak) or is added in soups, lentil curries like sambhar, or vegetable  curries like Santula etc. Tender leaves are cooked like other leafy greens. Whenever I manage to get the tender leaves of moringa, I’m definitely going try Sasmita’s Sajana Saga Munga .Flowers too are used, like the way Shobha uses them to  make a cooling and healthy Drumstick Flowers Raita or yogurt salad.

Moringa powder can be sprinkled in your cereal, oats, soups, mixed with smoothies or enjoy it as a herbal tea. I love to drink Moringa and Mint Tea.

Fresh pods and seeds are a rich source of oleic acid. Pods are commonly used in the Indian Cuisine as they rich in minerals like copper, zinc, manganese and magnesium. Its best to choose pods that are not dry. If they begin to split at the ends or the middle then they have reached the ripening stage and the seeds will taste bitter. 


Drumstick Curry/ Saragva Nu Shaak:

My all time favorite sabji or side dish, I remember every weekend a huge bundle of drumsticks would be brought home by my Grandfather. His best friend owned a farm so Sunday visits would mean he would come back home with a huge basket of fresh produce, drumsticks being one of them. The family’s favorite was Saragva Nu Shaak made in a chickpea flour and yogurt curry with hot bhakri (parathas). My siblings and I would sit with my grandfather to enjoy the curry and we would see who could make the highest pile of the pod skins after eating the inner pulp and seeds.


Dietary Tips:

  • Its gluten free
  • For vegan option use a vegan yogurt or replace the yogurt with coconut milk and add a bit of lemon juice.
  • For a satvik friendly dish, avoid adding garlic.

saragva nu shaak 1

saragva nu shaak 2

saragva nu shaak 3


Serves 4-6

10 long drumsticks

2½ cups water

 ½ tsp turmeric powder

1½ tsp salt

3 tbsp oil

1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)

1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

¼ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)

a pinch of asafoetida

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tsp green chilli paste

1 tsp ginger paste

3- 4 tbsp chickpea flour (chana, besan flour)

½ cup sour yogurt

2 tbsps chopped fresh coriander

  1. Trim the ends of the drumsticks. Wash and cut each drumstick into 2½ to 3 inches pieces.
  2. Put the cut drumstick pieces into a pressure cooker with the water, salt and turmeric powder.
  3. Cover the cooker and place over medium heat. Cook the drumsticks for one whistle. Take the cooker off the heat. 
  4. In a wide pan heat oil over low flame.
  5. When it is hot add mustard, cumin and  carom seeds, asafoetida. When the seeds begin to splutter add the chickpea flour and stir continously, till it becomes light pink in colour.
  6. Add garlic, ginger and chilli and stir fry for a few seconds.
  7. Add the drumsticks along with the water. 
  8. Mix very gently.
  9. Simmer the curry till it becomes thick, which will take about 5 minutes.
  10. Add yogurt and mix well. Let the curry simmer for 5 minutes.
  11. Take the pan off the heat.
  12. 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.

Pin for Later:

saragva nu shaak

A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email mayuri.ajay.patel62@gmail.com
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962



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