Drumstick is the seed pod of a tropical tree. The seed pod are long. Some of the pods I purchased this time were over long as 3ft!! Longer, than any I have ever seen in Malaysia. The vendor tells me in India, they have even longer drumsticks. The pods have a triangle cross section, splits open to 3 sections with a pulpy interior with winged seeds. When cooked, you scrap the delicious pulp against your teeth like an artichoke leaf, discard the hard outer skin. I remember a rented house we lived in for awhile, where the landlord would come each month to harvest the drumstick and collect the rent. You know me - at this point, I am not just thinking about eating the drumsticks but growing them!! A healthy bundle of drumstick followed me home............
Normally, I would cook the drumstick in a sambar/ dhall type curry. I decided I wanted to try something a little different. I remembered a tomato based drumstick curry I used to eat in Malaysia. A quick harvest of curry leaves from my garden, tomatoes purchased from the Farmers Market a few days ago and frozen grated fresh coconut from the freezer and I was on my way. I served it with Basmati Pilaf
1 tablespoon canola/olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed
4 sprigs curry leaves
1 onion sliced thinly
2 garlic pips, coarsely minced
2 cups diced tomatoes ( 3 large tomatoes, diced)
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 dried chili pods
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt ( or according to taste)
To be blended together to form a paste
1/2 cup grated coconut
2 inch ginger root
4 garlic pips
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
6 Drumstick - cut into 2 inch pieces, between the seeds
Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a saucepan. Add the curry leaves, cumin and mustard seed. When the seeds start to pop, add the chopped garlic and sliced onion and saute for a few minutes until onions are soft. Add the chopped tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Cover and cook until the tomatoes are pulpy and releases it juices, approximately 5-6 minutes.
Add drumstick pieces to pan. Stir in coconut / herb paste, mix well. Add in turmeric, dried chili pods and 1/2 teaspoon of salt for a start. Pour in 1 cup of water or quantity that will make a nice amount of gravy, just covering drumstick pieces.