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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Nuggekayi Palya (Drumsticks Curry)

This is my 'N' entry for Nupur's A-Z vegetabes event. 'Nuggekayi' is the Kannada name for drumsticks. It is 'Munagakaya Koora' in Telugu. After weeks of mulling over Navratan and Nawabi dishes, even preparing Nuggekayi Sambhar, I cooked drumsticks curry today. I had eaten this only once, decades ago at one of my aunt's place. Using drumsticks for sambhar in our households is common but curry/sabji preparation is not.
The vegetable which is usually used to prepare sambhars in Southern India, resembles the musical drumsticks. It is a green skinned, hard, stick like vegetable with soft flesh inside. The foot (or more) long vegetable is cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces and then cooked with water. When cooked, the skin should not break and remain intact to enable eating the flesh part. The pale greenish flesh embedding small pods is sweet, fragrant and is the delicious edible part. While eating, the (cylindrical) drumstick piece is opened with fingers, flesh is scraped from the green skins of the vegetable using one's teeth. The green skins are then discarded.
The fleshy part is only miniscule compared to the skins. To prepare a sabji, onions and tomatoes are added for substance. I mostly use frozen variety cut drumsticks which come in handy and cheaper compared to fresh ones which are sold at around $8 per pound.

Ingredients needed:
Cut drumstick pieces - 20
Chopped Onion -1 Cup
Tomatoes - 2
Chillie powder - 1.5 tsp
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - a few pinches

The cooking part:
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida. When mustard seeds start to pop, cumin seeds start turning brown, add onion pieces, stir once. Cover the lid, turn down the heat and cook onions till they turn translucent with in between stirring. Then add tomatoes to the pan and let them cook.
Mean while cook drumsticks with water seperately in a pot or in a microwave. The skins of the drumsticks should be intact as said above.
Add drumsticks to onion - tomato mixture. Add salt and chillie powder. Saute for a couple of minutes. Turn off the stove.
Serve hot with rice.

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FH said...

Ah..!!! Ellamma siktu nimge Nuggekai?!! Bayalli neerorta ide!!
I never get those here and haven't eaten in yrs.They may sell it frozen,I have no clue.

Looks delicious Suma,thanks for the recipe.I just have use some other veggie.Hava a fun weekend:)

Suma Gandlur said...

I have been getting fresher ones at Indian grocers ever since we moved here. They sell at around $10 per pound.The most expensive Indian vegetable.
Nowadays, Indian brands are selling frozen veggies of even rare varieties.There are still plenty of items which are not available even here.

Viji said...

Hi Suma, Nice one, We get this here in ME almost throughout the year. How come? I don't know. But during season we get fresh ones. Nice recipe. Viji

Roopa said...

wow thumba chenigide! i never tried palya with it but mixed palya madthivi!

Richa said...

hey suma, the pic of the plated drumstick subzi looks Fantastic!!
it sure is a delicacy.

Shivapriya said...

Mullakda kura is one of my fav, My mom makes it often. Thanks for the recipe

Suganya said...

Right now i am thinking how cud this palya wud be with hot rice and a touch of ghee... sigh ;)

Nupur said...

What a beautifully simple recipe! Thanks very much for participating, Suma...I appreciate it!

Sreelu said...


I love mulakada, I make a dish with sesame seeds, this is a nice variations.I always make it with frozen ones

Thanks for the recipe, also I added you to my blogroll so will stay in touch much frequently