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Murungaikeerai Puttu – Drumstick Leaves Stir Fry

MurungaiKeerai – Moranga/Drumstick leaves, which has countless health benefits, It is a good source of protein and generously packed with amino acids and minerals.
Drumstick is one of backyard trees grown in most of the homes, so the leaves and vegetable are inevitable in Tamilnadu cooking and the leaves find it’s place in the menu list at least once in a week either as poriyal or in sambar.
There are varieties of drumstick depending upon its size and cultivation. In Trichy district, drumstick is cultivated as an inter-crop among betel leaf vines and the size of the drumstick measures to just a foot long. It is known as “Kodikal Murungai”. Kodikal – Pole, a rough translation – The long slender trunk of the trees serve as a climber log for the betel leaves, Kodikal type murungai are fleshy and tastes good when compared to other varieties.
In Pondicherry area it is the long drumstick type, where 30 to 40 pods dangle from a panicle, measuring up to 2′ long.

Usually Drumstick leaves are stir fried with onion with addition of grated coconut or boiled lentils. My mother adds cooked Yellow lentils/ Thuvar dhal to the poriyal along with lots of small onion.
Drumstick leaves Puttu, a side dish recipe for lunch. This Murungaikeerai Puttu is a tweaked version of my friend’s recipe. This recipe follows the usual poriyal cooking method except with an extra ingredient which turns this dish into a scrumptious accompaniment.
The cleaning process of the leaves are bit laborious but worth.. Each leaf is removed from the rachis discarding the discoloured ones. Usually the new leaves at the tip of the branches are used for cooking, not the matured ones.

Here goes the recipe.

Preparation Time
: 20 Minutes
Cooking Time : 15 Minutes
Servings : 3
Ingredients :
3 Cups Drumstick leaves
1 Medium Size Onion
1/4 Cup Par Boiled Rice
1/4 Cup Grated Coconut
1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
2 Green Chillies
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Urad dhal
1.5 tsp Oil

1. Remove the leaves from the rachis, wash and keep aside. Use only the fresh green ones.
2. In a pan, dry roast the rice to light brown colour. Keep stirring on medium flame.
3. Allow it to cool down to room temperature and transfer to the blender jar and grind to coarse powder. Not to fine powder.
4. In the same pan add 1/2 tsp of oil, to it add the green chillies, later add cumin seeds, once they get roasted add the grated coconut. Keep stirring till the coconut releases its aroma, now remove from heat. Make sure the coconut retains its original colour. After it cools down, grind to a smooth paste by adding required water.
5. In a pan add remaining oil and add mustard seeds, once they splutter add urad dhal. Now add sliced onion to it and saute for couple of minutes.
6. Once the onions turn translucent add one and half cups of water, salt and turmeric powder. When the water starts to boil add the drumstick leaves and give a stir. Cook on medium flame for 5 minutes.
7. After the leaves get cooked, add the rice powder by sprinkling in small quantity with constant stirring, so that lumps aren’t formed. Reduce to low flame and cook for couple of minutes, by now the remaining water gets absorbed by the rice.
8. Now add coconut paste and mix. Check for salt and keep on heat for another couple of minutes.

Serve piping hot Murungaikeerai Puttu with rice.


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