Monday, April 13, 2009

A Time For Rediscovery

By some strange and interesting twist of fate, the year so far has been full of getting in touch with old friends and classmates. One of them left a comment on my other blog last summer. I don't subscribe to comments by e-mail as I find that the comments come into my Inbox only after I've read them on the blog, and as that blog is dormant, I've missed the two or three comments that have been left there since I last checked, which is probably well over a year ago. I only noticed them last month. Another friend, whom I've known since I was four or five, and who I'm in touch with occasionally but haven't seen in some 13 years, came and stayed with me last weekend.

It's fun to see what these old friends are like now, as adults, professionals, householders. It is a fascinating journey of discovery and rediscovery. As is the recipe that's being featured here today - drumsticks in a milk gravy.

I rarely cook with drumsticks as The Spouse doesn't like them and I don't care to eat the leftovers for days on end but when these came from home, so fresh and tender and unblemished, I couldn't bring myself to give them away. I had been thinking of making this curry for a while so I guess it was a matter of things falling into place by themselves as I discovered a bit of leftover gram flour (besan/senagapindi) in my kitchen and I had everything else necessary on hand.

I also had a Telugu cookbook to guide me but I find that the editing leaves a lot to be desired. My pet peeve with this class of cookbooks, often expressed in these posts, is that items in the recipe make a sudden appearance or disappearance, and very often, we just have to make the most of it. So the cookbook shall go unnamed but here's how I made it.

Drumsticks/mulakkaya: 4, cut into 2-inch pieces

Besan/Gram Flour/Senaga pindi: 1 tsp

Mixed well with

Milk, boiled, cooled: Approx 1.5 cups

Onions: 2, chopped
Green chilli: 2-3
Red chilli powder: 1/2-1 tsp
Salt: To taste
Turmeric: A pinch
Oil: 2 tsp


Dry red chillies: 2-3, broken into bits
Mustard seed: 1 tsp
Curry leaf: A sprig
Urad dal/Black gram, hulled: 1 tsp

Heat the oil in a pan and temper with the ingredients listed under 'Tempering'..

Add the onions, green chillies and saute well.

Now add the drumsticks, mix well and season with salt, turmeric, chilli powder and cook covered till the vegetables are soft.

Reduce the heat to the lowest and add the milk-besan mixture to the curry. Mix gently.

Simmer till the mixture thickens a little and remove from fire. It's usually eaten with rice. I ate it for four glorious days, for once not feeling the burden of its leftoverness.


  1. Blogging is mostly like that to me... Expecting the unexpected.....Drumstick which we got at our place are really tender and soft. This recipe sounds new and yum.

  2. you had another blog?

    I have a drumstick tree and this was so very regularly cooked that I vowed I wouldn't touch anything drumsticky once I moved away.

  3. Interesting recipe. I love the drumstick kootu we make, other than that we use it only in sambar and kuzhambu without the onion. So will try this next. I even like the color. ;)

  4. Interesting recipe....I love the smell that drumsticks impart to any dish.

  5. Lubna, you don't know these kind of curries? They're v common our side - you can make this with ridge gourd, bottle gourd, brinjal, even carrot!
    Rachel, yes, and you've commented in it more than once - the second comment of yours is one of those I missed.
    Vidya, I thought of you so much when posting this, believe me, I was waiting for your comment about the colour.
    Jayashree, so do I!

  6. Hi sra, hope you had a great weekend. Our Monday just started after3 days of fun.
    We both love Nuggekayi but never get them fresh. Frozen is not that bad, so we do cook with them. With Besan, it looks delicious, must try sometime.
    We went 2 Indian restaurants last weekend, so don't feel like eating Indian food today! :D

    It's always fun to meet old friends. We imagine them in one way and they look totally different in reality! :D

  7. Where is your other blog?

    I love drumsticks, & i miss my tree back home. the ones i get here are really really old & stiff at their joints.. giving us quite some exercise of the jaw. this is a new way of preparation for me.

  8. Hmmm... nice read and nice recipe :)

    We had 2 drumstick trees... now I have to pay thru my nose and they turn out bitter after that!

  9. I remember now. the post that had Pics of Goa :)

  10. i'm so gonna try this!
    -- Anu (one you should have had lunch with a month ago!!!!)

  11. Sra, sure thing the cookbook just gives you the general idea, you have to read between the lines being a food blogger and all ;)

    Oh this curry was always made with ridge gourd at my parents house but never tried with drumsticks.

  12. it is fun to reconnect with old friends...thanks to FB..i have been able to get in touch with school buddies...and it is really good!
    The curry looks great..but i am not fond of drumsticks...can i sub it with something else.....what do you think?

  13. Getting back in touch with friends is always enjoyable.

    Wow.. this is such a unique curry with drumsticks.. how interesting. My grandparents had a big tree and had an overabundance of these but i miss them so much and have to contend with the stick thin frozen versions these days.

  14. That sounds like a yum recipe, Sra! And the picture is gorgeous!!
    And so nice that you're connecting with old friends. Thanks to networking sites like FB and Orkut, I connected with quite a few in the past few months.

  15. Like Rachel said, we had a drumstick tree in our earlier house which was so productive, I couldn't fine enough ways to cook the fruit or find enough people to give it away to!
    So now while we like the flavour it lends to dishes its cooked in, the three of us tend to avoid drumstick.:)
    But I have never seen drumstick cooked in milk.

    Looks like this year is about rediscovering your friendships. Hope its fun.

  16. Oh Besan! I love besan. I'm going to try this the next time we make South Indian .
    We don't make as much coz it involves too many dishes. Lame? yes, it is. But well :P I'm born lazy.

  17. drumsticks looks so fresh! Never made this curry. I always used them in sambhar :) Thanks for the yummy recipe Sra!

  18. Very interesting with milk! Very exciting to reconnect with old friends.

  19. This looks so good! We had a tree in Mangalore. My granny used to make different curries all the time ! It looks really yummy.

  20. Milk and besan with my favoite veggie ? Sra it looks so very interesting. I am hook to this veggie and as this summer its abundant in the markets atleast once in a week we have adish out of this. A must try!

  21. I love drumsticks and especially so in sambar - so nyahh to the hubby who doesnt like it and I always make my fav when I get some good drumsticks - which is a rarity in Delhi anyway.

  22. Tender drumsticks, that is not fair. I used to love them. We used to make fritters with the flower of the drumstick tree too

    We usually put drumsticks in a mixed veg kind of sabzi never had a sole curry with it

  23. i adore drumsticks (esp the leaves) and this looks really really really yummy.

  24. WOW. i never knew drumsticks could be the main dish. it was always added as a afterthought in daals and curries for some reason

  25. Sra,
    we have always liked eating drumsticks in Shukto or in potato jhol ..this sounds so very tasty ..
    hugs and smiles

  26. this recipe sounds new n mum used to make wth coconut milk...and i use to make a rasam..neva tried the way u have wonderful recipes..n grt site...thx for sharing..keep rocking...

  27. I wouldn't be able to pass up on drumsticks that looked that green either! But like Miri said, that is not a frequent sight in these parts...
    A couple of months back I met up with friends from 20 years ago [I know, I must be really old :)] - we had a great time over lunch talking about family and work. Then this month I got a call early in the morning from someone who was my best pal in school but somehow had lost touch... Google does unite long lost friends!

  28. Its a New Dish Sra..I have two Drumstick, shall give a try!

  29. Drumstick in milk, sounds really really interesting ... tomoro Iam gonna meet a friend of mine too after 2 loong years :) :) Iam all excited

  30. I have no clue as to what that is... but it looks delicious and the rest of the recipe sounds yummy.... Hmmmmm

  31. I recently managed to find some fresh drumsticks here in Barbados and I'm working on a column to include them.

    I like how the milk and besan flour thickens up the curry.

  32. What, you have another blog? What is the URL? :)
    I am not a big drumsticks fan, I love the flavor it adds to curries, but not the actual veggie. Milk based curries are pretty unusual, right? Although I do substitute milk for coconut milk whenever I run out.

  33. wow this recipe sounds nice n fresh. Drumsticks add so much flavour to the dish!

  34. Folks, sorry, haven't been able to answer individually after the first few comments.

    *My other blog was just a practice blog, nothing much there except a few flowers and pix of ruins.

    *Those of you looking for substitutions can use bottlegourd, ridgegourd, chow-chow, brinjal and carrot.

  35. very interesting! Love drumstick. Wonder if frozen will work!