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Drumstick leaves stir-fry

Drumstrick leaves and drumstick in trees – Image from Cook Islands Biodiversity Database

Drumstick leaves (Moringa oleifera ) are full of essential disease-preventing nutrients, they contain:

  • 7 times more Vitamin C than oranges to fight many illnesses including colds and flu
  • 4 times more Vitamin A than carrots against eye disease, skin disease, heart ailments, diarrhoea
  • 4 times more Calcium than milkto build strong bones and teeth
  • 3 times more Potassium than bananas essential for the functioning of the brain and nerves
  • nearly equal amount of Protein as in eggsbasic building blocks of all our body cells

Details of drumstick courtesy : Integrated Food Security Programme, Srilanka

Preparing drumstick leaves – Murungai-keerai in tamil, a stir-fry out of it is very easy. The only step that will take some time is to separate the leaves from its stalks. Wash two to three fistfulls of the separated leaves and drain. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan or kadai. Season the oil with a teaspoon of each – mustard, cumin, urad dal, channa dal, two chopped green chillies. After the mustard splutters, add the leaves. Add half a tsp of salt and half a cup water. Close and cook for 10 minutes in low simmer. Open and let it cook for another 10 minutes until all the water has evaporated. Add two tablespoons grated coconut. Serve with rice.

potatoes curry, stir-fried drumstick leaves & rice – For weekend herb blogging


January 20, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Revathi, Oh, i miss this leaves in ME. We don’t get it. Adai with leaves are very tasty. As you said very nutritious and cheap product in India. Tks for sharing. Viji

    Comment by Vcuisine | January 21, 2007 | Reply

  2. My grand mother used to have a tree and used all the leaves to make dishes.I don’t get those here,I will enjoy looking at your dish and drool!:))

    Comment by Asha | January 21, 2007 | Reply

  3. Hi Revathi,

    Excellent article on Murungai keerai,it has rich source of iron too..
    Hence it is highly recommended to person who is suffering from Anaemia.Pregnancy ladies should take this who are easily vulnerable to anaemia.

    Comment by USHA | January 21, 2007 | Reply

  4. Gosh, can u parcel me some of this leaves. I used to have this in a coconut based curry with this rice rotis back home.U made me so homesick.:(

    Comment by Mallugirl | January 22, 2007 | Reply

  5. Hi Revathi

    Nice recipe. But do we get these leaves in the US? My mom used to put them in adai too. Tasted yummy.

    Comment by Lakshmik | January 23, 2007 | Reply

  6. Very interesting post and recipe. I wish I could taste this. Isn’t there some kind of project in India to get people to sponsor the planting of this tree? I read about that somewhere.

    Comment by Kalyn | January 23, 2007 | Reply

  7. Where do you get these leaves? I was told by a friend that some chinese/ korean stores might carry them. NOne of the Indian stores in our area carry them. I wish they did 😦

    Comment by Anonymous | January 23, 2007 | Reply

  8. Revathi, where can one find the leaves… this definitely sounds very interesting. Thanks for sharing

    Comment by mandira | January 23, 2007 | Reply

  9. Thanks Viji, Asha, Usha, Shaheen, Lakshmi, Kalyn, Anon, Mandira for your comments !

    Here in California chinese markets will carry them. I find them in the chinese stalls of farmers markets.

    If you are adventurous you can grow them at home like Karthi did

    Comment by Revathi | January 23, 2007 | Reply


    Comment by Revathi | January 23, 2007 | Reply

  11. Hi revathi,
    nice dish and a good entry for WHB too.
    thanks for sharing

    Comment by Pooja | January 24, 2007 | Reply

  12. OMG!!!! How I miss murunggai kirei. My mom makes it with grated coconut & dried achovies. Super duper yummy especially with fish curry. Kadavule, thangge mudiyale. I can even smell it now. Thanx a lot for giving me this visual treat.

    Comment by Puspha | January 24, 2007 | Reply

  13. Hi Revathi,
    Murungai keerai poriyal is one of my favorite dish. Though I had this a lot when I was in India , ur presentation tempts me to have it now. love it with rice and potato

    Comment by Prema Sundar | January 25, 2007 | Reply

  14. I don’t think I have ever had drumstick leaves…so goona have to dream a little…when are they going to invent smell-o-vision…~smile~…thanks for sharing…

    Comment by Dilip | January 25, 2007 | Reply

  15. wow, that looks good. i once got drumstick leaves from the market and had absolutely no clue what to do with them. but now i do! thanks.

    Comment by jacob | January 25, 2007 | Reply

  16. Those pictures make me homesick! I want it now.

    Comment by RP | January 26, 2007 | Reply

  17. Hi Revathi, I am back to blogging after my break. I like the drumstick Leaves stirfry and the microwave okra. Happy New Year to you.

    Comment by Anupama | January 28, 2007 | Reply

  18. my mom-in-law and my granny used to make this dish…i really miss:(..

    Comment by HariPriya | January 29, 2007 | Reply

  19. i love this preparation. your thali looks so tempting..

    Comment by Krithika | January 29, 2007 | Reply

  20. cmon, out with it.u probably dreamt of my fish curry and u didn’t want to say that. 🙂 gosh that was so funny. i assure u, i have very straight hair and i would love to visit u if only to eat the drumstick leaves. blogging does get into the blood, right? my bro lives close to u in cupertino.

    Comment by Mallugirl | January 30, 2007 | Reply

  21. I grew up on drumstick leaves thoran, as my mother had atleast 3 plants which supplied leaves, flowers and fruits year around. Havn’t tasted it in a long time though. Thank you,i am going to look for this from now on, i was thinking that i might not find it at all here.

    Comment by archana | January 31, 2007 | Reply

  22. Ohhhh Madammm…. Don’t tempt…..ERRR

    Comment by Anoop Abraham | February 1, 2007 | Reply

  23. nice recipe.I love drum sticks. But I laways to sambaar with it.I just love that sambaar.Your one looks more healthy and yummy.Thanks for sharing this recipe

    Comment by Meena Kandlakuti | February 1, 2007 | Reply

  24. Nice write up about drumstick leaves.Here i am not getting it.We make kuzhambu out of this…

    Comment by Maheswari | February 4, 2007 | Reply

  25. aaga I thought you are off from blogging…aaga namma oorla ghee pannum pothu ithu pottu pannuvaanga…nenaichaale mouth watering… 🙂

    Comment by Syam | February 6, 2007 | Reply

  26. Hi Revathi,

    Your version of drumstick leaves poriyal seems simple to cook and sure would be tasty. I’m gonna try this version.

    BTW, try this version of the same poriyal given by Chitvish in this forum. It really tastes divine.

    Comment by Nila | February 6, 2007 | Reply

  27. Wow Revathi.
    Those fresh green leaves and drumsticks on trees are so well shot. And your prepared dish looks so green and inviting. We like your tag – weekend herb blogging.

    Comment by Pritya | February 7, 2007 | Reply

  28. whats up? are u ok? do u know a fish curry with okra in it?

    Comment by Mallugirl | February 7, 2007 | Reply

  29. Revathi, your dish is conjuring up a lot of memories of home…This fry is my favorite…

    Comment by Chandrika | February 8, 2007 | Reply

  30. Hello Hyderabadi Blogger:
    We have a plan to unite all Hyderabadiz: Calling out to all Hyderabadi bloggers
    See details at our blog.
    Hope do you will do your best to achieve this goal.

    Comment by Hyderabadiz | February 8, 2007 | Reply

  31. Hey Revathi
    Murungai keerai poriyal presentation is yuuummmy. Sounds simple to cook and guess would be great to eat too. Chk out another version of Drumstick leaf- onion curry by Chitvish:

    Comment by Sanjana | February 13, 2007 | Reply

  32. Hi ,
    Im visiting your blog for the first time i have a wonderful blog going on.Lovely recipes and very good info.thanks for sharing

    Comment by Dr. Soumya Bhat | February 23, 2007 | Reply

  33. Hi Revathi, As we were reading this post again, we are quite impressed with the nutritional values that you have written about. Good to know that drumstick leaves have so many qualities. Quite a revelation. Also, it is definitely an added bonus to know that one could cook it so interestingly.

    Comment by Pritya | March 12, 2007 | Reply

  34. Does anyone here have a recipe for fresh, i.e. raw, drumstick leaves? And what is the food value when eaten raw? Thanks for any info provided.


    Comment by Anonymous | April 2, 2007 | Reply

  35. Hi Revathi,

    Ur blogs looks good.

    We like Drumstick dishes very much. My mom used to do this fry since its very healthy and nutritious with Vitamin A. Hmm, we miss them very much in US!

    Yesterday I did a liquid dish with frozen drumstick, but the drumsticks are not upto the mark… 😦

    I think we need to eat them when we go to India 🙂

    U guys are lucky, u r able to get them 🙂


    Comment by Rekha | July 13, 2007 | Reply

  36. Hi

    This another popular recipe in almost all chettinad villages. No wonder they are all so brainy

    Just add a few moringa buds (may be 10 to 15 not too many) to the leaves and the change in the aroma would be tempting. In villages its red chillies and not green chillies. I still love nostril pinching strong aroma of red chillies. Substitute green chillies with red ones. You will not regret it.

    Comment by MAJ | December 6, 2007 | Reply

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