Spiced Drumstick Curry ~ From Surya Kantham’s Kitchen

by on July 15, 2016

This is a homestyle drumstick curry in coconut paste from the regions of Behrampur and Rourkela on the border of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Mrs Kantham learnt this delicious dish from her mother. Healthy and easy to prepare, its consistency is unusual—thicker than dal, almost like a chutney. When served with steamed rice and a side-dish, it makes a simple and complete meal in itself.
Drumstick Curry


  • Drumsticks: 2; cut into 1.5-inch pieces
  • Oil: 1-2 tbsp
  • Split black gram (udad dal): 1 tsp
  • Red chillies: 2
  • Curry leaves: 1 sprig
  • Fresh coriander: 1-2 tbsp; finely chopped
  • Cashew nuts: 8-10; roasted in ghee to garnish
  • Sugar: 1-2 tsp (optional)
  • Salt to taste

For the paste

  • Coconut (grated): 1⁄2
  • Red chillies: 2
  • Mustard: 1 tsp
  • Rice: 2 tsp
  • Asafoetida powder: a pinch


  1. For the paste, soak the rice, mustard and red chillies for 30 minutes. Grind along with the grated coconut and asafoetida powder into a thick paste. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan.
  3. Add the dal and as it turns golden, add the curry leaves and 2 red chillies.
  4. As the chillies turn bright red, add the chopped drumsticks and 1 cup of water.
  5. Add salt and sugar and cook until the drumsticks become soft.
  6. Now, add the ground paste to the drumstick mixture and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  7. Switch off flame, transfer to serving bowl and garnish lavishly with chopped coriander leaves and roasted cashews.
  8. Serve hot with steamed rice or chapattis.

Photo Courtesy: Harmony Magazine


Part-1 of this post is an interview with Surya Kantham, an Andhra grandmother from Chennai. Also enjoy her recipe of Pointed Gourd & Potato Curry.
First published in Heart to Hearth – a column in Harmony Celebrate Age, a magazine about silvers.


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