Drumstick Curry recipe – Andhra style vegetable drumsticks cooked in a spicy onion tomato curry. Drumsticks are one of the most commonly eaten veggie in south Indian states. These are the pods of the Moringa tree and are considered to be great for digestion. We use them to make curry, sambar, stew (pulusu), rasam and even pickle.
In this post I have shared a simple recipe to make a delicious & flavorful drumstick curry that you can serve with plain rice. Simple everyday curries from South Indian cuisine, have a chunky curry base or gravy. They are much different from the restaurant dishes but yet taste good.
Drumsticks are prepared in a few different ways. I know a lot of people cook them with eggplants (brinjal), cashews, potatoes, sweet potatoes, golden pumpkin and even with boiled eggs.
We also make pulusu, a sweet spicy & tangy stew with drumsticks. I have also shared how to make the pulusu in the same recipe card notes.
If you are new to cooking, then the following tip may help you:
Choosing drumsticks: Always choose young and fresh looking drumsticks. The veggies that are harvested long time ago will usually dry up and it is harder to cook them. They will also lack the flavor.
The quantity of all ingredients to prepare this drumstick curry are approximations only. You can adjust to suit your taste.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 2 to 3 drumsticks , cut to finger length
- 2 onions , finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes , finely chopped
- 1 green chili
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 pinch mustard
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 2 garlic cloves crushed, (optional, gives a different flavor)
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¾ teaspoon salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder (optional)
- 2 to 3 tbsps oil
- 1 cup water (adjust as needed)
How to make the recipe
- Lightly scrape off the drumsticks to remove a thin layer of skin. Skip this if using homegrown drumsticks.
- Rinse them under running water. Cut to finger length pieces. Also chop onions, tomatoes and green chilli.
- Pour oil to a deep pan and heat it. Add mustard & cumin.
- When they splutter, add curry leaves and green chili. Fry until the leaves turn crisp.
- Add onions, sprinkle salt and fry till transparent.
- Next add drumsticks. Fry for 2 to 3 mins to remove the raw smell.
- Add chopped tomatoes, some salt and turmeric. Fry till the tomatoes turn soft and pulpy.
- Do not cover and cook but fry in an open pan, since fried tomato gravy tastes better.
- Add coriander powder and red chili powder. Fry for 2 to 3 mins until the raw smell of chilli powder vanishes.
- Pour water just enough to cover the drumsticks.
- Cover and cook on a medium flame till they are tender. Cooking the drumsticks on the lowest flame yields a tasty curry.
- If there is lot of water left towards the end then evaporate by cooking on a slightly higher flame.
- Turn off the stove when the drumstick curry turns slightly thick. Add more salt if needed.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.
Drumstick curry recipe
1. Heat oil in a deep pan. When the oil turns hot add mustard & cumin. They will begin to splutter, then add curry leaves, garlic and green chili. Saute until the leaves turn crisp.
2. Add the onions, sprinkle salt and fry till they turn transparent. You don’t need to brown the onions but the raw smell should be gone.
3. Add drumsticks & fry for 2 to 3 mins to remove the raw smell.
4. Add tomatoes, some more salt &turmeric. Fry till the tomatoes become completely soft and pulpy. Do not cover and cook but fry in a open pan as it tastes better.
5.Add red chili powder & coriander powder(optional). Saute well until the raw smell of the chilli powder goes away.
6. Pour water just enough to cover the drumsticks. Stir well.
7. Cook on a medium flame till they are thoroughly cooked. If you have enough time, try cooking on the lowest heat for a long time. I sometimes do that, it yields a very tasty curry.
Serve drumstick curry with rice or chapathi.
You can also make a variation to this by adding boiled eggs. When the drumsticks are almost cooked but not fully, prick boiled eggs with a fork and add them here. Cook till the drumsticks are completely done. You can also fry the eggs in 1 tsp oil and then add them here