They may try to distract you from your mission – those colorful bins of glamorous veggies and fruits, jet-lagged and starting to tire, yet vying for a spot in your shopping basket with their exotic contours and shiny skins. If you’re looking for pure flavour and a savoury smack to your dinner, however, it pays to rummage around the bazaar for an indigenous and homely favourite, especially if the jute-string adorned bundle of pods looks fresh-picked, sleek and mossy green. Once you’ve cut and sliced up the slender, long beauties, it’s a toss up..between using them to zest up your pot of everyday sambhar or trying out an aromatic concoction that’s tangy, tomatoey and just a little peanutty. We’re dishing out the ‘Drool-worthy Drumstick Stew’ at our table tonight and the piles of chewed-out ribs to be tossed aside will attest that no one’s really missing the sambhar.
- 4 Drumsticks
- Salt and turmeric powder
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- ½ Teaspoon mustard seeds
- Pinch of hing
- 1 Sprig curry leaves
- 1 Large onion, finely chopped
- 2 Green chillies, split
- 1 Teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
- 1 Teaspoon sambar powder
- 4 Tomatoes, pureed
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 Teaspoon tamarind paste
- 2 Tablespoons peanut butter, we used crunchy, but creamy is good too
Cut the drumsticks into 2.5″ long pieces and split each one lengthwise into 2 halves. Boil a cup of water in a saucepan. Add the drumsticks and a large pinch of salt and turmeric powder and allow them to cook until tender. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or kadhai heat the oil and add the mustard seeds and hing. Once the seeds pop, add the curry leaves, onions and green chillies. Add some salt and sweat the onions on low heat. Once the onions turn golden, add the ginger-garlic paste and fry well. Now mix in the sambar powder and then pour in the tomato puree. Cook until the liquid evaporates.
Stir in the tomato paste, tamarind paste and peanut butter. After a minute add the drumsticks with their cooking liquid. Adjust the salt. Add more water if needed to bring the consistency to a thick-ish gravy. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
Serve hot alongside bowls of fragrant white rice, a chopped salad and lots of roasted papads.