Drumstick ‘palya’

The drumstick (or nuggekai, in Kannada) is quite the underdog of vegetables. It’s almost never served in restaurants and is used only in sambar in most south indian households. But it’s quite a versatile veggie. If you go by what my mom says, it can be cooked as a ‘koora’ (in telugu, ‘palya’ in Kannada, loosely ‘curry’ in English) with a variety of masalas, including besan and green chillies, onion and green chillies. Those recipes are for another day.

Today’s is an extremely simple dish, with just turmeric, salt and one green chilli. Cooked this way, you can taste the drumstick, and the taste is not lost amidst other masalas like in a sambar.

drumstick plain

You need:

  • 3 or 4 drumsticks, cut into 3 inch long pieces. Cut them whole, you cannot peel it. Slit the 3 inch pieces down the vertical gently, in one place. each piece needs to be slit once. This is so that the flesh inside cooks quickly.
  • A teaspoon of oil
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • 1 green chilli
  • A little water
  • Salt to taste
  • Mustard seeds for tempering

Making it:

  • In a pan (or bandli/kadai), put in the oil. Heat, and temper with mustard seeds.
  • Once the mustard seeds crackle, add a green chilli, slit lengthwise.
  • Add the drumstick pieces and fry for a minute.
  • Add a few spoons of water and let the drumsticks simmer for 5-10 minutes. The inner flesh of the drumstick is quite soft and tender and this needs to cook through. Don’t put too much water or this flesh will just dissolve.
  • Add salt and simmer for 2 more minutes.
  • Feel the flesh to check if it is cooked and turn off the heat.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander.

Use it as a side dish with any rice rice.

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One Response to “Drumstick ‘palya’”

  1. […] dish is a slight variation to the drumstick ‘palya’ Anu published. Gojju, in Kannada, means a slightly spicy gravy (unlike sambar, which is less […]

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