Drumstick Leaves Curry

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Drumstick leaves are not readily available in Melbourne, but when I do see it in the market I get very excited because it takes me back home to Maldives, where it was a popular backyard tree! Nowadays it’s still grown in the islands, but not so much in the capital. 

The leaves and the pods are used in various ways, in curries in tuna salads. The leaves are also used in omelettes, making it a very popular breakfast dish. 

If drumstick leaves are not available, spinach leaves can be substituted. I like the curry a bit thicker but feel free to add more water and coconut milk to your liking.

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Prep time:  20 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes
Serves 2-3

Ingredients 

  • 180 grams leaves well washed and stripped off from the stems (discard the stems)
  • 3 tablespoon sunflower oil or coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic,  crushed
  • 1x2cm fresh ginger grated
  • 1x5cm fresh turmeric grated or 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1x3cm cinnamon stick
  • 5 green cardamom pods lightly bruised
  • 1 sprig curry leaves thinly sliced
  • 2x5cm pandan leaf
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds (preferably freshly roasted and ground) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seeds (preferably freshly roasted and ground)
  • 1 small habanero chilli sliced or to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk powder, dissolved in 1/2 cup of hot water

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon stick, green cardamom pods, curry leaves, pandan leaf, and vegetable stock cube and fry until lightly browned.
  3. Add the ground coriander, cumin and chilli, and mix in well.
  4. Add the drumstick leaves, followed by 2 cups of water and salt.
  5. Give a stir and cook uncovered until the leaves are soft and tender.
  6. Pour the coconut milk, mix in well.
  7. Cook for one minute and take off heat! 
  8. Serve with your favourite rice, roti or even bread.
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