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Drumstick Sambar


Drumstick sambar is very popular. The reason is simple: it is super-delicious and very healthy. If you are thinking of preparing a sambar that has a best fit for both ragi mudde / ball and rice, then drumstick sambar should be a forerunner.

Drumsticks are said to be rich in iron. Even the seeds in a drumstick are said to have medicinal values. So do not discard the seeds, but eat them.

Food Fact Drumsticks are said to be used for treating rheumatism.1

In the drumstick sambar recipe, in addition to the drumstick, add vegetables like brinjal, potatoes and capsicums, to scale the sambar taste even higher. The sprouted chana / brown chickpea in the drumstick sambar recipe too makes this food not only tastier, but also more nutritious.

Are drumsticks available throughout the year?

No, unfortunately. You can buy this usually during the summer months.
When you buy drumsticks, be sure to pick only those that are neither too tender nor old.

Also, like with most vegetables, prepare the drumstick sambar, when the drumsticks are fresh. That is, preferably, on the same day you buy them.

Food Fact Drumsticks are believed to have antioxidant and anti-diabetic properties.1

Some new to eating drumsticks may have the question, "How to eat them?" Press a drumstick piece, so it splits into three parts. Take one part and scrape the pulp, and seeds if any, between your tongue and teeth and eat the pulp and seeds.

Ref: 1Evaluation of antidiabetic and antioxidant activity of Moringa oleifera in experimental diabetes, Journal of Diabetes accessed through the US National Library of Medicine, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22103446

Servings: Three to Four

Toor dal / togari bele / thuvaramparuppul / kandi pappu / tuvar dal 1/4 cup
2. Kala chana / brown chickpea / kadale kaalu / kondai kadalai / senagalu 2 tablespoons
3. Drumsticks / nugge kayi / munagakaya / murungakkai / saijan ki phalli / muringakka 3-4
4. Onion 1
5. Oil 2 teaspoons 
6. Mustard seeds 1/4 teaspoon
7. Curry leaves 1 sprig
8. Hing 1 pinch
9. Tamarind concentrate / juice to taste
10. Tomato 1
11. Turmeric powder 2 pinches

Blog post: What are the Benefits of Turmeric?
12. Sambar powder 3-4 teaspoons
13. Salt to taste
14. Chopped fresh coriander leaves

How to make Drumstick Sambar?

Soak kala chana in water overnight or use sprouted kala chana.

Wash and cut drumsticks into 2-and-1/2 to 3 inch pieces.

Dice onion and tomato.
filler_photodrumstick sambar s1

drumstick sambar s1b

drumstick sambar s1c

drumstick sambar s1d
Wash toor dal.

Add toor dal and about 1-and-1/4 cup of water to a pressure cooker.

Add turmeric, kala chana and a few drops of oil.

Pressure cook till the cooker whistles twice or till the kala chana is soft.
drumstick sambar s2

drumstick sambar s2b

drumstick sambar s2c
Add water and grind sambar powder to a fine paste.

drumstick sambar s3

drumstick sambar s3b
Heat the oil in a utensil till the oil becomes hot.

Add mustard.
drumstick sambar s4

drumstick sambar s4b
Add curry leaves and hing when the mustard starts to splutter. drumstick sambar s5
Add onion pieces.

Fry for 2-3 minutes.
drumstick sambar s6
7. Add the drumsticks.

Fry for 2-3 minutes.
drumstick sambar s7
Add masala paste.

Fry for a few seconds.
drumstick sambar s8
9. Add drumstick mixture, tomato, tamarind paste, coriander leaves and salt to the cooked toor dal mixture. Mix.

Cover the cooker lid.

Cook without putting the whistle, till the drumstick becomes soft, but the drumstick pieces should not break, and absorbs the salt.


Put the whistle and cook till a small quantity of steam builds up.

Switch-off the stove.

IMPORTANT: Do not overcook, because the drumstick parts will separate.
drumstick sambar s9

drumstick sambar s9c

drumstick sambar s9b

10. Drumstick sambar is ready. drumstick sambar final

TIPS Drumstick Sambar
1. Add brinjal, capsicum and potato for a variation in taste.
2. If you do not want the sambar to be thick and or you do not like dry coconut, then use 2-3 teaspoons of a different variety of sambar powder in Step 9 without grinding the powder.
3. Ragi mudde and drumstick sambar is a good combination.

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