Of all the greens, next to coriander leaves my favorite greens happen to be murungakeerai aka Drumstick leaves. It could probably be due to the fact that I grew up eating it on a daily basis and let me not forget to mention that every household in Grandma’s place used to have at least 3 of these trees in their backyards and add to that my grandpa’s insistence on having to eat at least one green dish for the day, these leaves were cooked so frequently. But of course it is very very difficult to get these leaves here now-a-days.
Today’s recipe is my MIL’s recipe which I love very much for its simplicity and the distinct way in which it is flavored. The cooking time of the leaves are nil. Yes, you read it right. This recipe is downright simple, uses minimum ingredients, mildly spiced, packed with nutrients and flavors yet tastes out of the world when served with hot rice and a dash of ghee. Here, I had used even the blooms of the tree along with the leaves.
Murungakeerai Paruppu / Drumstick Leaves Dal
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Serves: 3 – 4
Murungakeerai / Drumstick leaves – 1/2 cup
Tur Dal / Tuvar Dal – 3/4 cup
Sambar powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Vengaya kari Vadagam – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Wash tur dal and along with turmeric powder and enough water, pressure cook till soft. Remove after the pressure is released and mash well adding enough water to the consistency you want the dal to be.
Now add the drumstick leaves, mix well. Close with a lid and switch off stove.
Meanwhile heat a pan with oil and season with vengaya kari vadagam. When it sizzles, remove the lid and pour the seasoning over the dal. Mix and once again close with the lid.
Let it be for 5-7 minutes for the leaves to get cooked in the heat and for the aroma of the seasoning to get imbibed.
Serve hot with rice to which a dash of ghee has been added along with this potato roast.
If you do not happen to have kari vadagam for seasoning, just season with mustard, followed by cumin, asafetida and finally with 2-3 cloves of finely chopped garlic. Let the garlic change color to a deep brown before adding to the dal.
This dal tastes best only when served hot and that too with rice only.
This will not go that well with rotis or any flat breads.
Adjust the chilli powder as per your taste buds.