MURUNGA-VENDHIYA KEERAI SAMBAR / Drumstick-Fenugreek Leaf Lentil Sauce

Contributed by

Viji Varadarajan

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MURUNGA-VENDHIYA KEERAI SAMBAR / Drumstick-Fenugreek Leaf Lentil Sauce

‘Viji’s Veggie Vignettes’ takes you on a journey through our traditional food, culture and lifestyle as laid down by our great grandmothers’ many years back. A universal favorite, the Drumstick Fenugreek Leaf Sambar is an instant pick-me-up, as it rushes fuel to the brain. FENUGREEK is an important part of the Tamil cuisine. Be it fenugreek seeds or the leaves it is precious in flavour as well as for health. Once roasted and cooked it leaves an intense flavour in the fish. MORINGA or drumstick is a fantastic and tasty vegetable. The flesh inside is scooped and consumed whilst the skin outside is discarded. Fabulous in taste and flavour it is a favourite with many Tamilians.


  • 1/2 cup pigeon peas/ thuvar dal, cooked, frozen
  • 3 tsp tamarind sauce
  • 5-6 3” pieces drumstick
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida / hing powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp sambar powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Season with

  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chilli, halved
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp oil


  • Chop the drumstick into 2-3 inch pieces. Wash the fenugreek leaves clean and chop into half.
  • Heat the oil, pop the mustard, and brown the dried red chilli and fenugreek. Add the fenugreek leaf stir for 5-6 seconds and keep aside.
  • Heat a little oil, add the drumstick, sambar powder, salt, half a tsp hing powder and a cup of water and mix. Cover and simmer over a medium flame for five minutes until the vegetable softens, but still remains firm.
  • Add the tamarind pulp. Simmer over a medium flame for a couple of minutes. Add the cooked lentil. When it thickens a little add the seasoning with the fenugreek leaves. Stir for a few seconds and remove from fire.
Course: Side
Cuisine: Indian

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