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Spicy drumsticks from Mangalore (Nurge gashie)

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

Drumstick vegetable, also called moringa, is very traditional to South India. During season, the tree is laden with these long stick-like vegetables that are delicious. It is family favorite at our house, where my daughter loves to peel them apart and suck out the tender sweet flesh and seeds. The leaves are also delicious and extremely nutritious.

Drumsticks are available in any Indian store, either fresh during season, or frozen always.

This is another cookbook from Chandra Padmanabhan that I adore. The recipes are varied across the southern states in India and each recipe turns out very well. This is one of my favorite recipes with this vegetable.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.


Drumsticks, 12 oz, cut into 2 inch pieces if fresh

Spice powder:

2 dried red chiles, or to taste

3 tablespoons coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1 tablespoon split black gram (urad) dal

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 cup grated fresh coconut (frozen okay)\


1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon black gram (urad) dal

8-10 curry leaves


1/2 tablespoon tamarind paste

2-3 cloves garlic, minced fine (Optional)

1 medium onion, diced fine

1 tablespoon jaggery

3 tablespoons cilantro, minced

Salt to taste

3-4 tablespoons oil

Boil the drumstick pods in just enough water to cver, with a touch of salt, for 10 minutes. Cool and set aside with the water.

Toast all the spice powder ingredients on a pan, individually, till they are lightly browned. Cool and grind in a coffee mill to a fine powder.

Add the grated coconut to a mini blender with 1/2 cup of the water that the drumsticks were boiled in. Puree to a fine paste. set aside.

Heat the oil in a pot and add the tempering ingredients and cook on medium till the dal is light brown and the mustrad seeds start to pop. Add the onion and cook till lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, if using, and cook for 1 minute. Add the spice paste and mix. you should have a very wet mix, if not add some oil. Fry till the ingredients are browned lightly. Add the tamarind and the coconut milk and simmer till the paste is thick and the oil begins to shine in the paste, about 10 minutes. Add the cooked drumsticks, salt and some of the water. Simmer gently for 5 minutes or till you have the desired consistency for the curry. I prefer this curry quite thick, where the paste coats and sticks to the drumsticks.

Serve topped with fresh cilantro.

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