Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Drumstick Pickle

Drumstick tree known as Kalpataruvu ( giver of everything)

The drum stick tree is a very popular tree in villages. It gives the yummy vegetable year long without anyone taking care of the tree and every part of the tree has numerous benefits. Drumstick is a popular vegetable and is widely used in vegetable curries, sambar and rural folk use drumstick leaves for a variety of purposes from making curries to using as a natural antibiotic, anti-fungal to getting rid of leg spasms and ankle sprains. Drumstick leaf curry is a frequent dish for pregnant and lactating women for its high iron and Vitamin A content. A drumstick tree in each and every back yard with scores of drumsticks dangling is a common sight in villages. When I was a kid many drumstick trees in the backyards of my village were said to be more than 20 years old and I am surprised to see many of them still intact and in full productivity. That makes those trees more than 60 years old.

During the caterpillar season, no one goes near the tree. Hundreds of caterpillars swarm the tree and polish off the leaves in a few days time. May be those which eat the drumstick leaves will turn into a beautiful butterfly without fail.

The Pickle:

The recipe given here is unique as raw drumsticks are used to make the pickle. Raw Drumstick pickle, on the face of it, appears unusual and daunting. Though not very common like tomato or lemon, it is not unusual. It is also very tasty. The marinaded juice of the drumstick piece is heavenly and oozes non-stop as you munch and munch not wanting to part with it.

The pickle is also very easy to make.


One KG drumsticks ( about 25 medium long fully mature drumsticks)
2 tbsp turmeric powder
250 gms tamarind
150 gms Chilly powder
150 gms crystal salt
100 gms garlic

2 tbsp fenugreek seed powder
500 gms oil for seasoning


Take about 25 drumsticks ( one Kg ). Select those that are not tender and the seed is a bit hardened. This will help the pieces to retain their shape even after pickling. Tender drumstick pieces, some time after pickling, will get soft and even soggy.

Wipe the drumsticks with a damp cloth first and then with a dry cloth. Cut the drumsticks to about 11/2 to 2 inches long pieces. Transfer the pieces to a non-metallic container which has a proper lid. Add a tsp oil to the pieces, 2 tbsp turmeric powder and mix well. Add salt to pieces and mix well. Peel the tamarind lump to smaller pieces and place at the bottom of the container. Place the lid firmly and let the pieces marinade overnight or for a day. Due to salt, the drumstick pieces will ooze water and the tamarind becomes soft.

Next day, take the drumstick pieces out.

Mix chilly powder, fenugreek seed powder and garlic paste with the water that has oozed and the tamarind turned soft in the container. For better mixing, you can put all the ingredients into mixer / grinder for a minute. Add the drumstick pieces and mix well.


Heat the oil in the pan. Toss in 10 red chillies, 10 garlic flakes, 2 tsp polished green gram, I tbsp mustard seed and a handful of curry leaves.

After oil is cooled, mix well in the pickle. Transfer the pickle to glass jars / plastic bottles.
Wait for a couple of days before you start polishing it off.

The shelf life is one year.


Anonymous said...

you know what, i'm actually stealing a few precious precious seconds from a 24*7 day to doing this drumstick pickle thing and it's such a fantastic zen cooking therapy. it's like reliving a million creative and happy moments of the past in fleeting, a rejuvenation. i don't know how the pickle itself is going to turn out (great, if your precise recipe is anything to go by and the ambience of the little andhra village of your boyhood is distilled into bottle, no doubt) but the sheer joy of the making it is near spiritual. cheers. beautiful.

Ramana said...

It will certainly come out well. In cooking, like anything else, the power of intent determines the end result.

Gundu said...

I am an Andhrite n as anyone, a big fan of Andhra pickles. Lived on them for 4 years during my studies in the northern part of India. Now based out of chennai (incidentally working in satyam), i wil b able to enjoy those yummy pickles once again..Wil try drumstick pickle n keep u posted bou the outcome..thanks for the recipe...keep writing bou some non veg pickles also :)..some dedicated readership is assured...

Anonymous said...

I am an Andhrite n as anyone, a big fan of Andhra pickles. Lived on them for 4 years during my studies in the northern part of India. Now based out of chennai, i wil b able to enjoy those yummy pickles once again..Wil try drumstick pickle n keep u posted bou the outcome..thanks for the recipe...keep writing bou some non veg pickles also :)..some dedicated readership is assured...

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