Jul 16 2007

Drumstick leaves Rasam – Munagaaku Chaaru

Important note before I start the post. Let’s come together to help our fellow farmers back in India by donating for their seeds. I am really excited about this noble cause !!! I actually get to cultivate and farm(well, virtually at least). I hope all you generous souls will  participate in this program.

More details here -> http://jikku.blogspot.com/2007/07/virtual-coffee-mornings-in-aid-of-lafti.html

 Wiki link on Moringa 

Drumstick (in the US it is known as horseradish-tree) scientifically known as Moringa Oleifera is a truly incredible, nutrient packed tree.  The leaves although not so popular, are powerhouses of nutrition.   I had never eaten these leaves before, but did read about drumstick leaves at VKN’s My Dhaba and Sailaja’s Sailu’s Food

As a kid, I remember my mom telling that growing this tree is inauspicious. She had her own reasons…Henna plant, Indian gooseberry (regi pandu) and a few others fell in the same category. But we did have generous neighbors with tall drumstick trees that shared their yield with us. Sambar made with drumstick pods is heaven on platter, and I am sure all of you agree to that … but leaves were a no-no and until I started food blogging I didn’t know they were even edible. As it turns out they are very much edible, in fact they are used to wield malnutrition in certain parts of Africa :)

A quick summary of the mineral content yielded by 100gms of drumstick leaves, when boiled is given below. In comparison with equal amount of orange the calcium content is 4 times more,  the potassium is at least 2 times more and so are the other minerals.

Calcium, Ca
Iron, Fe
Magnesium, Mg
Phosphorus, P
Potassium, K
Sodium, Na
Zinc, Zn
Copper, Cu
Manganese, Mn
Selenium, Se

And some vitamins present in drumstick leaves…

Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
Pantothenic acid
Vitamin B-6
Folate, total
Folic acid
Folate, food
Folate, DFE
Vitamin B-12
Vitamin A, IU
Vitamin A, RAE

I was lucky to find some in the local Indian store the other day. I made a simple rasam with it. I still have some more leaves left and I will make a stir fry or dal with it. For now, let’s cook the rasam.


  • 1 cup moringa/drumstick/munaga leaves
  • 1/2 cup toor dal
  • 1 tomato
  • Big lemon (2 inches in diameter) sized tamarind
  • Asafoetida powder – 1 tsp
  • Tumeric powder 1/2 tsp
  • Red chillies – 3
  • Green chillies – 3
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
  • Ground pepper – 1 tsp
  • Garlic – 1 clove
  • Cilantro – 1 tbsp chopped
  • Mustard and cumin seeds – 1tsp
  • Curry leaves – 5


  • Pressure cook the toor dal with a lot of water (1.5 cups). Mash and add 1 more cup of water and keep aside.
  • Clean the drumstick leaves thorougly and keep aside. Meanwhile soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup of warm water and squeeze juice.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard, cumin and garlic.  Then add red chillies, coriander seeds and fry for a few seconds. Now add asafoetida and curry leaves.
  • Add tomato, green chillies and turmeric. Fry for 1 min and add the drumstick leaves.  Then add the tamarind juice and black pepper powder.  Add another 1/2 cup of water.
  • Bring to boil and finally add the toor dal water. Add the cilantro too.
  • Mix in salt according to taste and ….slurp slurp slurp.

44 responses so far

44 Responses to “Drumstick leaves Rasam – Munagaaku Chaaru”

  1. Suganyaon 16 Jul 2007 at 5:23 pm

    I was lucky to get these leaves once.. Dont know whether I will find them again. I have posted Revathi’s recipe for a stir-fry using these leaves. Try that next time :)

  2. beeon 16 Jul 2007 at 6:16 pm

    these are my fav greens. you seattle folks are really fortunate. that rasam looks fabulous.

  3. richaon 16 Jul 2007 at 6:27 pm

    good nutrition info there! i need to get my hands on those leaves, rasam looks YUM :)

  4. Nirmalaon 16 Jul 2007 at 11:38 pm

    Great recipe! I have never heard of making rasam out of these leaves. We used to make a stir fry or cook it with dal. Sometime my mom when prepares ghee fries a handfull of these leaves in the leftovers of the vessel. The ghee fried leaves tastes out of the world. Will give a try to this over this weekend.

  5. Cinnamonon 16 Jul 2007 at 11:47 pm

    We make munagaku pappu, never tried charru. It looks tasty. Thanks for sharing! And a very useful piece of nutritional facts. That helps a lot!

  6. Ashaon 17 Jul 2007 at 6:59 am

    My grandmother had a huge tree and we loved to go and pluck them! I don’t get it here.You are lucky.Rasam looks yum!!

  7. Mythilion 18 Jul 2007 at 8:27 am

    Suganya – Know what? I did check that out in your website.. Revathi’s stir fry…and did make it too.. :) These greens are fabulous. I wish I can find them more often.

    Bee – You can always move to Seattle. We Seattle folks and very magnanimous too :D :D

    Richa – Oh yeah… totally powerhouses of nutrition, these leaves are.

    Nirmala – Ghee fried leaves….now that sound yummy. Will try that next time around.

    Cinnamon – Yeah pappu is good too. Do try the chaaru.. you will like it. :)

    Asha – Oh yeah those backyard gardens of India… Sigh. Rasam does look yum, doesn’t it :)

  8. [...] Got drumstick (Moringa oleifera) leaves? Here’s a recipe. [...]

  9. Himalayanon 18 Jul 2007 at 8:48 pm

    we have copied this link to our website http:\\www.TheHimalayanUniverse.blosgpot.com because we found it very useful not only as a recipe but also to promote the use of Moringa Tree to improve malnutrition among children and elderly in poor regions. Hope you allow us to do this. If you have objections, please let us know. Thank you for your kindness.

  10. anusharajion 19 Jul 2007 at 4:07 pm

    :( (
    u post all those i feel like posting
    i mean i luv ur posts
    munagaku charu is my granmas thingy
    cool shot :)

  11. anusharajion 19 Jul 2007 at 4:09 pm

    n hey they reminded me of chinta chiguru
    dal with ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm :)

  12. Talimpu » Blog Archive » Asideson 19 Jul 2007 at 4:12 pm

    [...] Munagaaku Chaaru Don’t miss! [...]

  13. Mythilion 19 Jul 2007 at 4:42 pm

    Raji – OMG .. That is the next recipe I was going to post… it is spooky that you mention chinta chiguru dal :)

  14. Batulon 28 Jul 2007 at 7:59 am

    Wow, Did not know that you could eat the drumstick leaves. Your rasam recipe looks lovely, and I think it must taste good too. Am going to try my hand at it, if I find the leaves.

  15. lathanarasimhanon 13 Aug 2007 at 9:11 am

    Hi mythili,
    This is great with all the details of the nutrients. Being in Bangalore I have heard the name of this recipe, now I will definitely make it >thanks.

  16. nguyenle(VN)on 23 Oct 2007 at 11:12 pm

    We would like plant this tree in Vietnam. We very appreciate anyone tell us how may we buy the seeds to plant.

    Thanks for advance


  17. Yee Munon 03 Nov 2007 at 8:36 am

    hi Mythili,
    This recipe looks good!
    I just bought some drumstick leaves today – didn’t know what to do with it so I fried it with eggs. It tasted quite good, although it was a bit chewy cos of the stems :) Maybe I didn’t prepare the leaves properly.

    Do you know if I can feed my 9-mth old baby drumstick leaves? Thinking of adding it to her porridge.

  18. jason 23 May 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Hi all can someone mail me and tell me what Drumstick leaves are called in England, UK. I would like to try making some Daal or rasam with them.

  19. Ramaon 10 Jul 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Why eat meat and chicken when so much nutrition is found in just drumstick leaves.
    It is called Murungai in Tamil, similar to its Latin name

  20. jayasreeon 27 Sep 2008 at 10:30 am

    thanks for giving a good recipe. I tried pappu and podi of the leaves and also vepudu but not the rasam.thanks again.

  21. vknon 16 Mar 2010 at 10:03 am

    [...] Should Just Stick to Cash … Cheers! vkn. My Dhaba. Comments. Name (required) Mail (will not be …Vindu Blog Archive Drumstick leaves Rasam Munagaaku ChaaruI had never eaten these leaves before, but did read about drumstick leaves at VKN's My Dhaba and [...]

  22. Suhasinion 07 Apr 2010 at 2:04 pm


    Can u pls let me know from which seattle store you picked up these greens as I am looking for the same.


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  26. Revation 07 Nov 2011 at 10:28 am

    I am new here. The rasam looks yummy. I have never heard of drumstick leaves rasam. I make dry curry by cooking with dal and coconut. But most of the time I cho[p the leaves and add it to the adai batter. It tastes very good.

  27. Revation 07 Nov 2011 at 10:29 am

    I am new here. The rasam looks yummy. I have never heard of drumstick leaves rasam. I make dry curry by cooking with dal and coconut. But most of the time I chop the leaves and add it to the adai batter. It tastes very good.

  28. slimmingon 24 Jul 2012 at 2:36 pm

    natural ingredients
    Thanks for posting this, it was really great

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