Thakkali Muringakka Curry

Charu Curry (gravy) aka Ozhichu Curry / Kootan is an integral part of Kerala lunch. There has to be some sort of gravy and usually, it’s a coconut-based gravy. Well, no surprises there, right? 

That reminds me… the other day I was watching a stand-up comedy on Youtube by a Malayali comedian, Kenny Sebastian. It’s called Chai time with Kenny. So, he was having a live demo of how to make tea and what really got me was what happened in the end, a particular reaction from the crowd. 

Towards the end of chai making, Kenny said, since he is a Malayali, he needs to do something particular with his Chai to which one person in the audience responded… “yeah, you need to add coconut!” 

Though it kinda sounds absurd, I won't fault the guy for blurting that ;)

The way we tend to use coconut in almost anything and everything, I won't be surprised if we find a way to add coconut to tea as well, maybe coconut milk instead of regular milk? Actually, I remember having some coconut tea when we went to Thailand, so maybe that’s already there and we haven't discovered it yet? Where are all the Malayalees…??!!

Anyways, back to our recipe, this is a pretty basic gravy dish. Ok, let me come clean here. I’ve used my Vellarikka Manga recipe here and just swapped Vellarikka & Manga with Tomato & Drumstick ;)

Thakkali Charu was something that we used to have regularly at my Ammachi’s place. Adding drumstick gives another flavor and it’s a good way to sneak in those drumsticks in your diet. 

Like me, if you are getting too comfortable with Kachimoru and wants to widen your horizons a bit, this is a good recipe. Do try and let me know, ok?

Ok, here’s a list of other gravy recipes that goes well with rice.

Vellarikka Manga Curry
Muringayila Parippu Curry (Dal and Drumstick Leave Curry)
Parippu Chaaru (Curry)
Kerala Style Dal Fry – Parippu Thalichathu

Here is the recipe…

Thakkali Muringakka Curry
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Thakkali Muringakka Curry (Tomato Drumstick Curry)

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Author: Maria Jose Martin


  • 2 big Tomatoes (sliced)
  • 1 large Drumstick (cut lengthwise)
  • 2-3 Green chilli (Slit lengthwise)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 3/4 – 1 cup Grated coconut
  • 1/4 tsp Jeera (cumin)
  • 1/4 tsp Chopped garlic
  • 2 Small / pearl onion (sliced)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 4-5 Small / Pearl Onion (sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2 Dry red chillies
  • A pinch Turmeric and chilli powder
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt
  • 2 tsp Coconut oil


  • Cook together sliced tomatoes, drumsticks, green chilli, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and salt with 2.5 cups water. Bring it to a boil and cook on lowest flame, till tomatoes and drumstick becomes tender. Around 12 – 15 mins.
  • Grind together grated coconut, cumin, 2 small onion, chopped garlic, coriander powder and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder with 1/2 cup water for 3-4 mins. Add another 1/2 cup water and grind for 3-4 mins till it becomes a smooth paste.
  •  Add 1/4 cup water to the coconut paste and mix well using a spatula. Add this to the cooked tomato and drumstick. Mix well. Cook on low flame for 7 – 10 mins. Do not let it boil. 
  • Heat oil in a small pan and crackle the mustard seeds. Add sliced small onion, dry red chilli and curry leaves. Fry it till the onion becomes golden brown. Add a pinch of turmeric and chilli powder. Mix well and add to the curry. Let the curry rest for 15 minutes and serve with rice. 
Tried this recipe? Let others know by…mentioning @mariasmenu or tagging #mariasmenu
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