Muringayila Parippu Curry (Dal and Drumstick Leaves Curry)

So, now that I have to make somewhat an elaborate lunch everyday, I’m always on the lookout for “chaaru curry” or “ozhichu kootan” gravy recipes. Though Kachimoru remains as my-go-to “chaaru curry” recipe, I want to try new recipes every now and then for a change.

It’s kinda difficult to keep the everyday meals interesting. Don’t you think so? Quite often, I hear people saying they don’t like daily cooking, since it’s boring. When you are cooking for a special occasion, you can indulge and be lavish with rich dishes.

But, when it comes to cooking on a daily basis, it has to be healthy, not over-the-top and also tasty. Hmmm…. Mission Impossible?

Since I don’t make salads at home regularly, I try to sneak greens in different ways in our omelet, rice, thoran, curry or kabab. Recently, my friend Smitha got me some Muringayila (drumstick leaves) from Kerala.

Honestly, I wasn’t very familiar with it and so I asked her to give me a recipe so I could use the leaves! That’s how I ended up making this curry. Thank you Smitha, for this wonderful recipe :)

We both like the combination of dal and rice. You can’t go wrong with it, if made properly. As per our definition “proper dal” is thick and creamy, but not too thick, with a dollop of ghee ;). If you’ve some pappad and pickle on the side, it’s a mini feast!

Adding muringayila to dal is a good idea. You won’t notice it much and also the taste of muringayila tends to be shadowed by dal.

Now, coming to the dried prawns in this curry, it’s purely optional. Smitha happened to give me some dried prawns also and said it’s a good combination with this curry (*Jose smiles*). The flavour of dried prawns works well with this curry. It’s not too much, just a subtle flavour.

A quick google search tells you about the many health benefits of muringayila. It supposedly helps to keep your cholesterol and sugar level in check. So that “feel good factor” of eating something healthy is an added bonus ;)

Here is the recipe…

Rinse the toor dal 4-5 times and pressure cook with 2.5 – 3 cups water (refer notes for details)…

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Mash the cooked dal with a wooden spoon. Add 1 cup hot water to the mashed dal and bring it to boil…

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Grind together grated coconut, green chilli, cumin and turmeric powder with 3-4 tbsp water to a smooth paste.Reduce flame to lowest and add coconut paste and salt. Mix well…

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Add drumstick leaves. Cook for another 5-6 mins on low flame…

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Meanwhile in a small pan, heat oil and crackle mustard seeds. Add sliced small onion and curry leaves. Fry till the small onion becomes golden and add to dal…

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In the same small pan (no need to add extra oil), roast the dried prawns (if using) for 2-3 mins and add to the dal. Mix well…

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Muringayila Parippu Curry (Dal and Drumstick Leave Curry)

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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala, South Indian
Servings: 4 -5
Author: Maria Jose Martin

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Toor dal (Pigeon Pea)
  • 1 cup Muringayila (Drumstick leaves)
  • 1/3 cup Coconut
  • 1-2 Green chilli (chopped)
  • a pinch Cumin / Jeera
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • Salt
  • Oil (I used coconut oil)

For tempering

  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 5 Small onion (sliced)
  • Curry leaves
  • 1-2 tbsp Dried prawns (optional)

Instructions

  • Grind together grated coconut, green chilli, cumin and turmeric powder with 3-4 tbsp water to a smooth paste.
  • Rinse the toor dal 4-5 times and pressure cook with 2.5 – 3 cups water (refer notes for details). Mash the cooked dal with a wooden spoon. Add 1 cup hot water to the mashed dal and bring it to boil. Reduce flame to lowest and add coconut paste and salt. Mix well.
  • Cook for 5-7 mins on low flame. Add drumstick leaves. Cook for another 5-6 mins on low flame.
  • Meanwhile in a small pan, heat oil and crackle mustard seeds. Add sliced small onion and curry leaves. Fry till the small onion becomes golden and add to dal. In the same small pan (no need to add extra oil), roast the dried prawns (if using) for 2-3 mins and add to the dal. Mix well.
  • Let the curry rest for 20-25 mins, for the flavour to settle in.
  • Serve with rice or chapathi.

Notes

I pressure cooked the dal for 6-7 whistles on high flame. Switch off the gas and keep the cooker closed, till pressure drops naturally, around 15 mins.
Adding dried prawns is completely optional. Also, you can add 1-2 tsp of ghee or alternately, do the tempering in ghee, instead of oil, for enhanced taste and flavour.
Keep in mind that the curry tends to thicken as it rests, so adjust the qty of water accordingly.
You can use Methi leaves instead of Muringayila and follow the same recipe.
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