Drumstick Leaves Sambar

Drumstick leaves (murungai keerai) sambar is a flavorful nutritious curry prepared without tamarind and hence it is popularly known as puli illa curry (no-tamarind curry) in Tirunelveli. It is usually served with rice, any poriyal or aviyal & roasted appalam.

IMG_4358Health Benefits: Drumstick leaves are rich sources of iron. If this curry is taken frequently by anemic women and children, they will surely see significant improvement in their health. Drumstick leaves act as laxative and hence care must be taken while serving this to kids or old people; one should gradually increase its in-take especially the first timers.

IMG_4321.JPGMy mother used to add brinjal, drumsticks, shallots along with drumstick leaves. But here I use drumsticks alone as I prepare in small quantity.

Cooking Time : 30 min

Serves : 4


  1. Green gram (paasi paruppu) – 1/2 cup (100 g)
  2. Drumstick leaves (murungai keerai) – a handful
  3. Drumsticks (murungai kai) – 2 Nos
  4. Coconut – 4 pieces
  5. Shallots (chinna vengayam) – 10 Nos.
  6. Peppercorns (milagu) – 1 tsp
  7. Cumins (jeeragam) – 1/2 tsp
  8. Fenugreek  (vendhayam) – 1/4 tsp
  9. Chilli powder – 1 tsp
  10. Sambar powder – 1 tsp
  11. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  12. Asafoetida (kayam/ hing) – 1/4 tsp
  13. Oil – 1 tbsp
  14. Salt – 1 tsp


 Cooking Method:

  • Separate drumstick leaves from its stem and wash them.
  • Pressure cook greengram (simmer for 5 min after whistle) and keep aside.
  • Grind coconut, pepper, cumins & shallots into a fine paste.
  • Heat a heavy bottom pan with oil, add fenugreek, drumsticks followed by water.
  • Add turmeric powder & chilli powder and bring it to a boil.
  • When drumsticks are half-cooked, add drumstick leaves & sambar powder.
  • Add cooked greengram when drumsticks’ seeds become soft.
  • Add salt & hing, mix them well.
  • Add coconut paste and cook for a min.
  • Drumstick leaves curry is ready to serve.


Please Note:

  • Do not use yellow-colored drumstick leaves.
  • I always like to add sambar powder just before final boil to enhance its flavor.
  • Pepper elevates its taste & drumstick leaves its flavor.
  • If you dont want it spicy you can reduce chilli powder by half or omit chilli powder, but not pepper.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks delicious as usual!

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you!

  2. Paru says:

    Its really healthy and tasty sambar…adding pepper to sambar is its uniqueness and it gives more flavour and different taste…

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks for trying my recipes & sharing your comments as well.

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