Coconut Drumstick Curry

Photographs by Sebastian John

Last week we went to try out IndAroma – a Indo-French cafe in Alexandria, VA. It turned out to be a nice cozy place with an eclectic mix of food – appetizers, entrees (biriyani, curries etc), breads, cookies, cakes and pastries. But what I really liked about the place was the ambiance. It was so different from the run-of-the-mill, heavy-draped Indian restaurants that serve food from Styrofoam plates. It was open, had large windows, comfortable booths, and pleasant lighting. And also it did not have a name that started or ended with Taj, Mahal, Palace, Spice, and Curry.

Next to IndAroma, was a grocery store run by the same owners. When I was told that it was one of the best arranged and labeled Indian grocery store, I took that with a pinch. Till I walked in and saw with my own eyes…it indeed was one of the best stocked and arranged Indian stores I had seen. And the name “Ginger and Spice” also scored brownie points with me..because the name of my blog is INJI which means ginger.

Browsing through the aisles, I was amazed to see drumsticks in the freezer. I had never thought I would see drumsticks in the US – fresh or frozen. I got a bag, not particularly knowing what to do with it. I could make lentil-drumsticks, sambhar, or thoran. Last evening I decided to cook the drumsticks in a sweet-spicy coconut sauce.

Ingredients
1. 1 bag of frozen drumsticks (If you get fresh, all the better)
2. 3/4 can of light coconut milk
3. 2-3 Thai green chillies
4. 3/4 teaspoon chopped ginger
5. 1 medium sized tomato
6. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
7. 1/4 teaspoon paprika
8. Salt to taste
9. Oil

For tempering
1. 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2. 4-5 curry leaves.
3. Oil

coconut_curry_blend

Blend together green chillies, ginger, turmeric powder, paprika with coconut milk and set aside.

Heat one teaspoon oil in a frying pan/skillet and stir-fry drumsticks for about 2 minutes. Add about 1/8 cups of water, lower the heat, cover and simmer till drumsticks are 3/4 done (the pulp will come out when you squeeze the sticks). Transfer the boiled drumsticks and set aside.

Heat one teaspoon of oil in the same pan, and splutter the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Lower the heat and transfer the coconut-spice blend into the pan. When the mixture starts boiling add the boiled drumsticks, cubed tomatoes, cover and simmer till the drumsticks are done.

Plate and serve with rice or Indian flatbreads.

drumstick

Drumsticks are pods of the Moringa oleifera (Muringa in Malayalam) tree and are packed with vitamins and other essential nutrients. Read a scientific paper here.

coconut_drumstick_curry

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