How to make Moringa/Drumstick leaves stir fry
While I was making this authentic keerai poriyal today, it brought back memories from my high school days. I was living with my grandparents for a few years... when all of a sudden, I was asked to fly solo for the very first time, with no time to prep. One fine day, my grandma had to attend a gathering and could not finish her cooking in time for grandpa. That Sunday, the responsibility of making this dish fell upon me. Having never made it myself; nobody to help me; no cookbooks or the internet (Gosh! I don't know how we lived back then) it took me a long long time & multiple attempts to get it right.
You probably wouldn't understand what the big fuss was all about - since you haven't met my grandpa a.k.a the food critique of the family, who also happened to be short tempered. Him being an ardent fan of the greens was definitely not working in my favor either, if I messed up the dish. I was sure that he would be able to pinpoint exactly what was missing in my cooking. To sum it all up, my first product was plain steamed greens with salt....Yikes!! Then I added the grated coconut, gave it a stir and turned off the stove again (second end product). Only to realize it was still missing something. After closing my eyes to imagine what a keerai poriyal looked like the last time I ate it, I made a tempering with mustard, urad dal & chillies and added to the cooked greens.
Although I wanted to be nowhere near the critique to hear his review, It was a situation that I was inescapable from. You see, in those days it was tradition to stand beside the person eating & serve them the food until they were done with the four (or six) course meal. After some nail-biting and heart palpitations, grandpa finally said that he liked it and ate all of it. I was surprised that he liked it and I was curious to taste it to see what was good with the overcooked keerai. He was not to be blamed for eating all of it, cos' between cooking, cooking & re-cooking, I ended up tasting so many times that there was barely any keerai poriyal for thatha to eat. LOL!!! Anyways, I was just glad that the stressful ordeal was finally over and I had learned how to make the keerai poriyal.
Hope you guys enjoyed reading about my very first cooking failure (turned) success. Note: This recipe can also be made without the roasted rice powder, but adding it, gives your final product a good texture & some crunchiness while eating. So, here you go - a very old recipe from my recipe diary. Sharing this story & recipe with my fellow bloggers at Sri Valli's CCC #48 Sep Week 3.
Ingredients for 2 to 3 servings:
2 cups of drumstick leaves - picked, washed & drained
1/2 an onion, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp, grated coconut
1/2 tbsp, oil
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp, mustard seeds
1 tsp, broken urad dal
1 dry red chilli, broken
To fry & powder coarsely:
1 tbsp, raw rice, pacha arisi
1/2 tbsp, bengal gram dal/kadalai paruppu
1/2 tsp, black peppercorns (if you like it hot)
1/2 tsp, oil
- Pick the drumstick leaves, without any thick stems. Rinse & wash a couple of times and let drain.
- Heat a mini pan/kadai, add 1/2 tsp of oil and add all the ingredients to fry & powder coarsely. Let cool & powder. Do not powder finely.
- Heat 1/2 tbsp of oil in a kadai/wok, add the mustard seeds, broken urad dal, and broken red chilli. When they are all fried, add onions & saute with a little salt for quick cooking.
- When onions are translucent, add the washed greens and salt, give it a stirring, cover & cook on low to medium heat for about three minutes.
- When the leaves are cooked, add grated coconut and the powdered ingredients - mix, let sit for another minute and turn off the heat.
- Serve with any south Indian meal platter. (We had it with raw mango sambhar & steamed rice.)