Lentils with drumstick Leaves

After weeks of indulging into festive foods, its high time to share some healthy and everyday dishes that I cook for my family. Lentils aka Daal is a favorite dish in my home. My boys love all sorts of daals. I feel happy and satisfied to see them eating healthy and protein packed foods (at least for weekday dinners).

During my recent trips to Indian grocery store, I noticed some greens that I had never seen before. The label on them said ‘Drumstick leaves’. Not knowing how to use them I did not buy them. I was curious what they were used for. After researching a little bit I found out that these leaves are a nutritional power-house. Here is the nutrition information from wikipedia: The leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant, being a significant source of B vitaminsvitamin C, provitamin A as beta-carotenevitamin Kmanganese, and protein, among other essential nutrient 

One day, during my evening walks with my friend Indu, I asked her if she knows anything about drumstick leaves and how to use them. She told me that they use it a lot in south Indian cooking, especially in making lentils. I had to get her recipe and try it. The next time I was in Edison buying my Indian groceries, I picked up a pack of fresh drumstick leaves. I got Indu’s recipe and I was surprised how easy it was to cook with these leaves. They have a very mild flavor and really can be used in many recipes making them really versatile.

IMG_9862.jpg

This recipe requires few dried red chilies (I used the milder ones), fresh coconut, rice flour, cumin and turmeric. Since I love garlic in my lentils, I decided to add garlic to Indu’s original recipe. Also, I decided to use the red lentils instead of the yellow lentils just for a change. Yellow lentils work very well with this recipe too.

IMG_9868.jpg

Rinse the leaves, pat dry using paper towels and then pull the leaves way from the steam using thumb and index fingers. Discard the stems.

IMG_9878.jpg

Wash and rinse the lentils,  add 1 cup of water and pressure cook them for 10-15 mins until the lentils are soft and mushy. The can also be cooked in a slow cooker, crock pot or stove-top.  While the lentils are cooking, grind fresh coconut, garlic, red chillies cumin and rice flour together to a fine paste using a tablespoon of water.

IMG_9875.jpg

Heat a heavy bottom pot on medium heat. Add ghee and the finely ground spice paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring frequently.

Lentils with drumstick Leaves

Add drumstick leaves and cook them for another 1-2 minute.

Lentils with drumstick Leaves-3

Whisk the cooked lentils, add turmeric to it and add it to the pot. Add salt to taste and cook until the lentils come to a full boil.

Lentils with drumstick Leaves-2

Turn the heat off and the lentils are ready to be served with hot rice or parathas.

Lentils with drumstick Leaves-1

Recipe:

Prep time: 10 mins  Cooking time:25 mins  Total time: 35 mins

Ingredients:

1 cup red or yellow lentils
4 oz drumstick leaves (1 cup packed)
1 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp grated coconut
1 tbsp rice flour (I like Bob’s red mill organic white rice flour)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 dried red chillies (I used mild ones)
1/8 tsp turmeric
4 peeled garlic cloves

Directions:

  1. Rinse the leaves, pat dry using paper towels and then pull the leaves way from the steam using thumb and index fingers. Discard the stems.
  2. Wash and rinse the lentils, add 1 cup of water and pressure cook them for 10-15 mins until the lentils are soft and mushy. The can also be cooked in a slow cooker, crock pot or stove-top.  While the lentils are cooking, grind fresh coconut, garlic, red chillies cumin and rice flour together to a fine paste using a tablespoon of water.
  3. Heat a heavy bottom pot on medium heat. Add ghee and the finely ground spice paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring frequently. Add drumstick leaves and cook them for another 1-2 minute. Whisk the cooked lentils, add turmeric to it and add it to the pot. Add salt to taste and cook until the lentils come to a full boil. Turn the heat off and the lentils are ready to be served with hot rice or parathas.

Enjoy!

61 thoughts on “Lentils with drumstick Leaves

    1. I grew up eating drumsticks but never ate the leaves! Now they all always available in the Indian groceries, so it’s easier to just pick them up. Want to try making other dishes with these leaves. Thank you!

  1. This recipe is so good! Specially drumstick leaves and the masala paste.I don’t get those leaves in London,can I use any other leaves?Archana what do you think would go good with this masala paste?

  2. I love curries, especially, the authentic Indian recipes. Here in Mauritius, the indo-mauritians changed a lot of things in the recipes to make them look and taste more ‘tropical’ i guess …

  3. Archana,
    I love drumsticks but have never used the leaves either. Your recipe is inspiring me to go find them in the Indian store!

  4. Nice recipe share, Archana. Yeah the leaves are the most nutrient rich source.
    I use Drumsticks but never tried or tasted any recipe using the leaves. I need to check them out in the Vegetable markets here in the UAE, I have not seen them in the supermarkets though.

Leave a Reply