Monday, July 16, 2007

Curry from Moringa Tree: Munaga kaaya or Munaga kaara Tomato kura

India's ancient tradition of ayurveda says the leaves of the Moringa tree prevent 300 diseases.

A beautiful compilation on Moringa Oliefera appeared here on October 3, 2007.

The wikipedia link for the Moringa Tree is here.

More info on Moringa:
Information on some medicinal value found here.
Commercial farming of Moringa in Thailand:

More links on Moringa:
Sanjeevani Herbals, a professionally managed drumstick company:
Miracle Moringa - An article by Nancy Willis

Moringa oleifera: A Review of the Medical Evidence for Its Nutritional, Therapeutic, and Prophylactic Properties. Part 1. Jed W. Fahey, Sc.D. Trees for Life Journal

Moring gateway: Trees for Life Journal

Nutrition information on Moringa is here

For more info: Moringa News (

We are thankful to Sivapriya for letting us use this recipe (its source linked at the end) that uses Moringa Tree beans to prepare a special curry. The reason for using this recipe is just to provide continuity to informing on Moringa Tree and its miraculous properties to eliminate malnutrition among poor children. If you see earlier postings, there are some on Moringa Oliefera, including this article from Nigerian Tribune. We have removed two photographs taken by the author of the recipe on request not use them here. Rather, the beautiful photographs are found at the link given at the end.

We have also provided an additional link here on the recipes using Moring Tree leaves. Here is the link for the leaf recipe, and below we have recipe using the pods.


Munaga kaaya or Munaga kaara Tomato kura
July 13th, 2007 — shivapriya
Drumstick curry with tomato gravy.

Munaga kaaya or Munaga kaara is popularly known as Drumsticks all over India, the reason they got the name from the fact that they do resemble the musical drumsticks. The drumstick tree is often referred as horseradish tree and the botanical name is Moringa oleifera.

"Photograph taken by Shivapriya removed on request"

Drumsticks are widely used in Indian cooking, especially in South India. The drumsticks are green skinned, tough, grows 1-2 feet long, and is a sticklike vegetable, which is surprisingly soft and fleshy inside. The opaque white flesh, surround the seeds ( shaped like a pea), covered in layers of skins, is sweetish and nutty, fragrant, and tasty to eat, when cooked.

Also the leaves are used a lot in Indian cooking which is highly nutritious, contains good source of beta-carotene, Vitamin C, protein, iron and potassium. Often these leaves are cooked with lentils and potatoes, used as a substitute for fresh spinach.
In some places even the flowers are used in cooking. This tree is a good source for calcium and phosphorus.

Drumsticks tomato curry is a simple sweet, tangy and spicy gravy curry, cooked with onions, tomatoes, minimal spices (like chilli powder and turmeric) and aromatic curry leaves .Sweet and creamy flesh drumsticks absorb all the flavors of tomatoes, onions and spices all the way when cooked has an irresistible taste and satisfies everyone’s taste which can served with rice and roties (Indian bread). Drumstick sambar (lentil stew) is a popular dish all over India.


Fresh tender drumsticks (4-5)
1 onion finely chopped
2-3 green chillies (chopped)
3-4 tomatoes chopped
1 twig of curry leaves
Fistful of coriander leaves (chopped)
Red chilli powder (accord to taste)
1/4th tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1-2 cups water

1 red chilis broken into pieces
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of hing
2 tbsp cooking oil


Cut drumsticks into 1″-1 ½ ” long pieces. Heat oil in a shallow pan and add the seasoning ingredients and sauté allow mustard seeds to splutter, put the curry leaves, chopped onions and chillies, turmeric and sauté till onions turn translucent. Now add red chilli powder, chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes become soft and mushy (it takes around 5-6 minutes). Add salt, drumsticks and 1-1 ½ cup water, cover the pan and allow it to cook on a low flame. Keep stirring in between till done (its takes 20-25 minutes). Add water if needed and adjust the seasoning. Cook for couple more minutes, turn off the heat garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or choice of meal.

"Photograph taken by Shivapriya removed on request"

Notes and Tips

Do not over cook the drumsticks, don’t stir too much as the drumsticks will fall apart. You can slightly scrape the ridges (with peeler) if you want. The gravy should not be runny or thick. You can add little yogurt or cream at the end if you like. You can also add garlic. You can also use frozen drumsticks for this curry but the fresh tastes really good.



Shivapriya said...


This is shivapriya from the veggiecook book. I am ok with you using recipes. But I would suggest not to use the pictures as these were taken by me at my home.

Also it would be a good idea if first let me know that you are using the content from my blog.

Thanks though for linking the post to my blog directly.

Himalayan said...

Hi Shivapriya,

Thank you for your email and warning on not to use those photographs. W will not do so again, if you wish so we will remove immediately (actually we removed them, right away). The reason we placed your recipe is that it was so beautifully illustrating the preparation of Munaga kaya curry and we have been promoting Moringa Tree (Munaga kaaya) not only for its good curry, but also as a miracle tree to improve nutrition among poverty stricken, malnutritioned children and people in the region. We are planning to distribute the plants after some time.

Thank you again for your kindness.


Shivapriya said...

Thank you for your promptness. If you need any other recipe of a vegetable you are promoting, I will happy to contribute to.

I will provide a link to your website from my blog.

Himalayan said...

Shivapriya - Thank you very much for your offer. You have, infact, already provided one very useful recipe (we copied, and you approved, for which we are thankful).We will will contact you for other ones.
Thank you again. Regards. said...

My name is James and I am interested about this products (Moringa) Can I possibly join on selling this products?