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Friday, 10 July 2015

Maharashtrian Style Drumstick Masala Curry Recipe


Drumstick masala curry cooked in a Maharashtrian style is a flavorful vegetarian gravy that is packed with all the healthy goodness of the super-food, Moringa. Here tender Moringa (drumstick) pods are first blanched and then simmered in a Spicy curry base made with roasted onions, dry coconut and spices. The curry is called Shevgyachya shenganchi bhaji in Marathi. Drumstick masala curry is a delicious vegan dish that serves as a best pair with steamed rice, though it tastes well with chapati and Bajra Bhakri as well. 

Drumstick known as Shevgyachya shenga in Marathi, Sajjan Phali in Hindi are pods of the Moringa tree which are loaded with valuable minerals, healthy proteins and essential minerals making it a super-food. Drumstick tree is called the "Power house of Minerals" and is most common tree in India and is considered one of the World's most useful tree as almost every part of the Moringa tree (leaves, fruits, flowers, bark and seeds) can be used for food and have medicinal values.


Health Benefits of Drumstick: 
Being high in Calcium, iron and other vitamins, Drumsticks help in strengthening bones. The leaves and pods of this green vegetable posses blood purifying properties and it also acts as potent antibiotic agent. Its leaves and pods are loaded with B complex Vitamins which are said to play a vital role in digestion. The anti - inflammatory properties of Drumsticks help in relieving a wide range of respiratory complications by flushing out your toxic load.

Let us have a look at the plethora of health benefits it offers. Source
  • Regulates blood sugar levels:  Drumstick is known to reduce spiked blood sugar levels thus is a boon to the Diabetic patients. Moreover, it is also known to enhance gall bladder function, which in turn helps in lowering blood glucose.
  • Helps improve digestive health:  Drumstick contain dietary fiber and are an ecellent source of B vitamins like Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B12 which play a vital role in improving digestive health.
  • Relives respiratory disorders: Drumstick are a rich source of Vitamin C and have anti-inflammatory properties which helps inhibiting growth of allergies in respiratory track.
  • Helps purifying blood: Drumsticks are believed to possess blood purifying properties and further acts as a potent antibiotic agent.
  • Boosts Immunity: The rich vitamin C content helps boost overall immunity.

Generally drumstick pods are used in sambar, lentils or in the form of soup but this recipe is one which uses drumstick as a main ingredient.  Drumstick curry can be cooked in many ways and every Indian state has its own version for instance we have this
  • Kerala Style Avial, a quintessential dish of Onam Sadhya in which drumstick along with other veggies are cooked in a base of spiced coconut and yogurt sauce.
  • Odia Dalma, a traditional dish from Indian state of Odisha in which drumstic and other veggies are cooked with lentils.
  • Ragi munagaku rotte, a Karnataka style breakfast recipe from Aruna's blog, a thalipeeth made with ragi, drumstick leaf and grated carrots.
  • Data Posto, a Bengali style drumtick stir fry with poppy seeds from Sujat di's blog.
  • Murungai Keerai Poriyal/Moringa Leaves Subzi from Preethi's di's blog which is a soulful side dish in which Moringa leaves are cooked with moong dal and black eyed beans.
  • Drumstick leaves chutney powder, a lentil based spice powder with moringa leaves from Archana di's space.
  • Murunga Poo Poriyal, a moringa flower stir-fry by Priya.
  • Murunga Elai Adai, a healthy drumtick leaves dosa fom Kalyani's blog.
  • Moringa and Mint iced tea a refreshing protein-rich Summer drink from Mayuri di's space.

Related Event:
This is an old post that i had published in 2015 during my initial blogging days. I have updated this post today with new images and written content. The recipe remains unchanged though. I have many suuch old posts that need to be updated as the photography is dull and the recipe is not up to the mark. Such posts need to be updated. Thanks to Renu, my dear friend and a fellow blogger who bcame up with a Facebook group Foodies_Redoing old posts as an initiative, where a bunch of like minded bloggers  can update our old posts with new pictures or written content every two weeks. This is my 21st entry into this event(24thJuly). The pic below is my old pic. You can make out the difference in the food styling and photography by comparing the new updated pics with this old one. meanwhile, do check out Renu's blog for some healthy and delicious recipes like this Dudhi Kofta Curry, a saatvik (onion-garlic free) curd based curry using lauki kofta that i am going to try out next.

What goes into my Drumstick Masala Curry?

 This Maharashtrian style drumstick masala curry has a very simple and easy to follow recipe. If you have the Kanda Khobra Vatan ( a spicy roasted onion and coconut curry base) ready at hand, making this curry is a breeze. All you need is drumstick pods, the curry base, and few spice powders. The curry may look fierry hot but the color is due to the use of Kashmiri red chilies in the curry base. The spice levels of the curry can be adjusted as per one's spice tolerance.
  • Moringa/Drumstick Pods- select fresh tender drumstic pods for this recipe. many times the pods are bitter in taste and you may end up throwing the whole curry. To avoid this i always blanch the drumstick pods in salted water rather than diretly adding the pods to the curry. We can taste that water in which the pods are blanched, if it is not bitter, then only i use it in the curry.
  • Kanda Khobra vatan - A maharashtrian style curry base made using onions, coconut, and some spicies.
  • Spice powders - Spice powders like turmeric powder, red chili powder and Maharashtrian goda masala. If you do not have goda masala, you may use garam masala instead. Ihave used kashmiri red chili powder here for the bright color.
  • Cumin seeds- The only whole spice used in this curry as we have the other spices in the curry base.
  • Oil: Use any cooking oil. In Maharashtrian Cuisine, we generally make our curries in groundnut oil.
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves for garnishing.
Dietary Notes:
  • Vegan
  • Maharashtrian Cuisine
  • Healthy vegetarian gravy

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 5

  • 5-7 drumstick/Moringa pods
  • 1/3 cup Kanda Khobra Vatan*/dry coconut and onion curry base
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • Pinch of Asafoetida/hing
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric/haldi
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp goda masala/garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Few Coriander leaves for garnishing.
  1. Rinse, peel and chop the drumsticks into 3 to 4 inch pieces . Heat some water in a pan and add salt to it , cook the drumsticks in the boiling water for 4-5 minutes. We have to cook the drumsticks until they become tender but at the same time remain intact . Do not overcook them, as overcooking leads to loss of nutrients and also the drumstick will become mushy and will not hold their shape in the curry and taste good. Reserve left water (if any) after cooking the Drumsticks as we will use the same water in curry. 

    2. In a pan heat 2 tbsp oil, add cumin seeds. Once they crackle add the asafoetida/hing, followed by the Maharashtrian style kanda khobra vatan (roasted onion coconut masala paste). On a low to medium heat, stir the masala paste until oil start oozing out from the sides.

3. Next, lower the flame and add turmeric powder, red chili powder and goda masala. Stir fry the spices with the masla for few seconds.

    5.  Now, add the cooked Drumstick pods to the gravy and mix well with the masla. Add hot water to this that we reserved after cooking the drumstic pods. If no water is left after cooking the drumstick, boil 1 cup fresh water and add it to the curry. Stir well add salt. Let the gravy cook on medium heat for 5 -7 minutes. Add chopped Coriander leaves and put off the flame.                                  




   6  Our dellicious and healthy Drumstic masala curry is ready. Serve hot with chapati or steamed rice.


Recipe Notes:
  • Use fresh tender drumstick pods to make this curry.
  • Always blanch the drumstick pods to rule out the possibility of adding bitter pods to the curry.
  • Always use hot water to the curries to maintain the colour and the texture of the gravy.
  • Adjust the amount of spice powders as per your spice tolerance.
  • The vibrant color of the curry is due to the use of kashmiri red chilies. The curry is not that spicy as it looks.
  • You may use garam masala if you do not have Goda Masala.
  • The curry is vegan and if you skip asafoetida, it will be gluten-free aswell.
I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.

For more Maharashtrian curries check out the following recipe links



  1. What an amazing color and yummy Maharashtrian drumstick curry, Poonam. I am checking the masala recipe now.

    1. Thank you Ravneet. Do give it a try. I am sure you will love this flavorful curry.

  2. the colour of this recipe is amazing. i am surely going to try this out, but only have frozen drumstick. I hope it works well.

    1. Thank you Seema. Yes it would work fine with frozen drumsticks as well I guess. Only you have to add the thawed and blanched drumstick to the curry. Do share your feedback with us once you try it out.

  3. Poonam if drumsticks are not going into a sambar, then the only other way I make it is with besan and yogurt curry. Your Maharashtrian style of preparing drumstick looks so tempting. I'm definitely going to try out this version of curry.

    1. Now I am curious to try your besan and yogurt curry with drumsticks. Thank you di.

  4. Glad I hopped on to this recipe using drumstick. I had a few which were going to soon go bad and no one wanted to eat the dal. I will try this spicy and delicious curry.

    1. Thank you Renu. Looking forward to your feedback once you try it out. Happy cooking !

  5. I used to make drumstick curry long back, but somehow stopped it later. I must make it again now. Looks delicious.

    1. Yes Jayashree, you should try this drumstick curry. It is healthy and flavorful.