Drumstick in any form as the pod, leaves or even the flowers is used in South Indian cuisine or even among the Bengalis very frequently. The flavor and its loaded mineral content makes it a much sought after vegetable. Very often the fruit finds its place in sambars, vatha kuzhambu or avial. The leaves are sauteed and cooked as a stir fry in an onion-tomato base or they are used as a topping in adai. The tender drumsticks are a hot favorite with Bengalis who cook it with fish or potatoes.
Murungakai rasam is also quite popular as it is a very aromatic rasam. I used the pulp from the fruit and also the leaves to make the rasam and it was a good decision.
Drumstick 10 to 12 pieces (3″ long)
Tomato 1 big or 2 medium-sized
Tamarind 1 gooseberry-sized ball or 1 tbsp pulp
Rasam powder 2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Arahar dal 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
Moringa leaves 1 tsp (separated and cleaned)
Ghee 1 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Pepper powder ½ tsp (optional)
Asafotida ¼ tsp
Water 4 cups
- Add water and turmeric powder to arahar dal and pressure cook the dal along with tomato for 4 whistles to get a soft texture. Cook the moringa pieces in the cooker in a bowl while cooking the dal. Scrape out the flesh from the skin and add to dal-tomato mixture. Keep the seeds separately. Mash the dal, moringa flesh and tomato to a pulpy consistency and keep it ready.
- Add salt and rasam powder to tamarind extract/pulp and add a cup of water and boil on medium flame till the raw rasam powder smell is gone (about 5 to 7 minutes). Make the volume to 1 liter.
- Add the dal-moringa pulp to the rasam when it starts boiling and simmer it till the rasam starts frothing. Add asafotida powder, cooked moringa seeds and switch off the flame.
In a thick-bottomed ladle/wok heat the ghee and add mustard seeds. When the mustard starts spluttering add pepper powder (if used) ans switch off the flame. Add the moringa leaves to the seasoning while hot and let the leaves get crisp. Transfer the seasoning to the rasam and enjoy one of the most flavorsome rasams.
- Freshly roasted rasam powder can be used in place of ready powder.
- Some like to drop drumstick pieces in the rasam instead of pulping it like I did.
No garnishing with curry leaves or cilantro is done in this rasam as the flavor of moringa can get masked. Moringa leaves are used for garnishing and to add to the flavor.