Drumstick Leaves Stir Fry (Mashinga Palle Upakari)

Drumstick Leaves Stir Fry (Mashinga Palle Upakari)

So, my mom & I are healthy eating, healthy living freaks. I had forgotten what drumstick leaves/moringa stir fry would taste like. I was long since I had it. And one afternoon I told my mom let's make mashinga palle upakari, drumstick stir fry in Konkani. Drumstick leaves are called mashinga pallo in Konkani, and upakari mean stir fry in Konkani. 

So, this stir fry requires little more prep time than usual. Separating out drumstick leaves from its branches and then separating out tiny stalks is a time consuming, tedious process. And if you are someone who eats purely based on taste, then this dish isn't for you. If you're a health freak, then this could be a nice side dish for you for lunch or dinner. So, give this stir-fry a try when you have some time on your hands.

Health benefits of drumstick leaves:

Drumstick/moringa leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant, being a high source of vitamin B, vitamin C, provitamin A as beta-carotene, vitamin K, manganese, and protein, among other essential nutrients.  In Ayurveda, drumstick/moringa leaves are believed to affect blood pressure and glucose levels. Drumstick leaves are cooked & given to nursing mothers with the belief that they increase lactation. 

If you love trying out new dishes, then do try out these Konkani cuisine dishes that use drumstick leaves in them. We make spicy rice dosas called as sanna polo in Konkani, using drumstick leaves & drumstick flowers. We serve them as a side dish for lunch/dinner. We make delicious, crispy fritters using drumstick leaves, they are called mashinga palle ambado in Konkani. We do use drumsticks in curries, stir-fries, to make crispy, delish drumstick fritters in Konkani cuisine. 

Ingredients to make drumstick leaves stir fry:

  • 1.5 cups of drumstick leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon of urad dal (split black lentil)
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 1 leaflet of curry leaves
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered jaggery
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut

Serves: 2

Preparation Time: 35 minutes

Preparation Method:

Prepping the drumstick leaves:

1. Separate out drumstick leaves from its branches and then separate out tiny, thick stalks if there are any amidst the leaves. Tiny, thin, tender stalks shouldn't be a problem. Separating them out too can be tedious, so leave them out. You'll hardly notice them on cooking.

2. Give the leaves a good wash, drain out all the water using a strainer. And keep the leaves aside. 

Preparing the stir fry:

1. Heat up a wok, add in oil, mustard seeds and let them splutter.

2. Once mustard seeds stop popping, add in urad dal, pieces of dried red chilli, curry leaves and let them sizzle until urad dal starts to brown.

3. Then add in finely chopped onion, salt to fasten their frying and saute until they're translucent.

4. Then add in drumstick leaves, 1/4 cup water, jaggery, salt if needed and mix well. Cook closed on a medium flame. Do not add excess water, as drumstick leaves give out water on cooking.

Jaggery is added to counter balance bitterness of drumstick leaves. You can skip it if you wish. But I like this stir-fry a little sweet. 

5. Cook closed until drumstick leaves are cooked through. Add more water if required in between to aid cooking. The volume reduces reduces considerably on cooking.

6. Once all the water has evaporated & drumstick leaves are cooked through, add in grated coconut and mix well.

7. Remove it from heat and serve hot as a side dish for lunch or dinner.

Side Note:

Onions help counteract the bitterness of these leaves. You can also use split moong beans, cubed potatoes in this stir fry. Cook them before hand in water and then add them to the stir fry.

More drumstick leaves dishes:

1. Drumstick leaves savoury dosas (Mashinga palle sanna polo)

2. Drumstick leaves fritters (Mashinga palle ambado)

P.S: More info on how healthy these drumstick leaves are. And find out how much more healthy these leaves are compared to other veggies. So, please make it a point to include these greens in your diet. They are super nutritious. Like we learnt in school, greens are very good for you. :)

Tags: Drumstick leaves, healthy, stir-fry, upakari, side dish, lunch, dinner, vegetarian, healthy eating, healthy living, Konkani cuisine, Konkani food, Konkani recipe, mashinga pallo, moringa, vegan, vegan dish, Konkani GSB recipe.