Moringakai (Drumstick) Curry

No matter how many times I make Moringakai and potato curry, I will never get tired of eating it. This is one of the dishes I missed when I got married and moved out to start a life of my own. For years, my mom would send me some when she made it – I was too intimidated to make it on my own. One day I found the courage and tried it for myself and saw how easy it was to prepare and since then I haven’t looked back. Moringakai is such a versatile vegetable and does well in sambhar, in a spicy curry, vellai (mild) curry, and even in rasams. It is also commonly added to shrimp curry, however a vegetarian like myself sticks to adding potatoes instead. The potatoes compliment the drumstick so well and the spicy and tangy gravy is just so comforting with just about anything from rice to stringhoppers, roast paan, and puttu,

Moringakai is an excellent source of Vitamin C, iron, and calcium so I make sure to incorporate this vegetable into my weekly meals. I usually find the best quality drumstick at my local Tamil/Sri-Lankan/Indian grocers. Look for medium size, bright green drumsticks for the best flavour and cook it as soon as possible.

Moringakai Curry RECIPE


  • 3 Tbsp. oil of choice
  • 1/4 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 3 green chillies, split
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled then sliced
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, washed and dries
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Jaffna roasted curry powder
  • 3 drumsticks, washed, slightly peeled, and cut
  • 2 red potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths
  • strawberry-size piece of tamarind, mixed with 1 cup of water
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups of milk
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • salt to taste


1. In a medium-sized pot, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and let the mustard seeds sputter. Add the onions, garlic, red dried chilies, green chillies, and one sprig worth of curry leaves. Stir until onions turn golden and translucent.

2. Add the turmeric and moringakai and stir often for about five minutes. Add the potatoes, curry powder, and water. Squeeze the tamarind water, and add that to the pot as well. Add salt and cover and cook on medium-high heat until potatoes are tender and can be easily broken with a fork (approximately 20-25 minutes).

3. Uncover and stir. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the milk while stirring to prevent curdling. Bring the contents the pot to a low boil and let the curry thicken lightly. Let the gravy cook uncovered for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the leftover curry leaves. Check seasoning and add salt as needed. Serve warm with sides and main of choice.

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