The Humble drumstick [ Murungakkai]

“Boil it separately, not with the kuzhambu” instructs gramma to the cook. It will disintegrate and melt if cooked in the kuzhambu is her explanation… 


We use the vegetable quite often at home… Either in sambar or some such gravy based dish, while the greens are also used as part of a meal.. stir fried with daal, or with coconut paste .. We had the tree i our backyard, but then had to burn it down few years back no thanks to a fuzzy caterpillar of sorts. Uncle and I literally torched every leaf down… 

When we had cows at home, the leaves were fed to the cows… The leaves and the vegetable is very heathy, so much so that today you find moringa powder and capsules in stores… Being a delicate vegetable, it cooks fast and is quite yummy. When grandpa was around, there would fight as to who got most of the vegetable from the dishes it featured in… Some of us would remove the flesh with our fingers and mix them in rice, others would chew the whole stick [almost like a sugarcane piece] and spit out just the outer thick skin… 

About a month ago, I had the most warm comforting bowl of Drumstick soup at Whiskey Samba in Gurgaon… It had such amazing flavours and was accompanied by a Kale crisp with a few drops of sauces on it… 


Yesterday gramma had some drumsticks cooked along with rice in the cooker, but we forgot to have it as part of lunch and so I suggested we have it as soup. Gramma wasn’t sure how to make the soup, and so I looked it up online and must say it turned out quite delicious..

During a conversation with my uncle later in the night, I mentioned the vegetable and he had a story to share as well.  At his daughter’s school, they were reading a non detailed story that featured the Murungakkai… Apparently, the teacher asked the class if there were any south indians and if they had eaten Murungakkai… My cousin mentioned she had eaten it, her dad would remove the pulp and give her.. But did not remember what the vegetable looked like. Uncle shared this incident and we spoke a while about the vegetable… 



Curiosity got the better of me and I dug around till I found the story my cousin was discussing in class.. It was from Malgudi Days, called A horse and two goats…. Soon, I was watching the episode on Youtube and reminiscing about what a fun book Malgudi Days was….


The episode- Malgudi Days – मालगुडी डेज – Episode 42 – A Horse And Two Goats


Here is an excerpt from the story,


Normally Muni’s wife starts the day by boiling him some millet for breakfast, then sending him on his way with a ball of leftover millet and a raw onion for lunch. This morning, however, there is no food, so Muni goes out of the hut, shakes the drumstick tree, and gets six drumsticks. His wife offers to boil them with salt, but Muni hankers for something richer—a drum-stick curry.” 


If this got you curious, you should read the book … Grab your copy here..  


Do you have any connections of food to shows/books? Do share them….

Food Trails along the NH 48 at Madras Pavilion, ITC Grand Chola till 13th April


[Image courtesy: ITC Grand Chola]
The food comes from these regions..

The mains 
Millet Koozhu with accompaniments- sundakkai vathal, maavadu, mahanikezhangu oorugai, chillies, onions, and more..


Coorg Idli [like the Kadumbuttu], served with Tarkari Gassi[veg] and Pandi Curry[ nonveg]

Gujarati Dhokla
Veg Pulao 

Amarkand, sundal and cut mango with spice powder…

Jaljeera, Rose & Watermelon sherbat

A range of side dishes

Daulat ki Chaat

Pani Puri 

Rajasthan meets Delhi on my plate-
Dal baati churma, garlic chutney & Mirchi Parantha
 

Bun Samosa…

The Desserts
Gulab jamun with cream and dry fruits on top 


Dudh pak


Shahi tukda

Kadala paruppu payasam

Coorg coffe


Food Trails along the NH 48 is the first of a series of culinary showcases which aims to explore the country’s cuisine prevalent along the highways.


As NH 48 traverses the distance from Delhi NCR to Chennai via Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat & Karnataka, the highway comes alive with stories and local food, abounding with hearty, traditional cuisine, flavoured with regional nuances and folklore.

Chef Mofid from Delhi, Chef Mahesh from Rajasthan, Chef Shetty from Karnataka and Chef Sundar from Tamilnadu have put together dishes from various regions across the NH48 route… 

Some of the dishes were Daulat ki chaat – the light as air dish from Chandni chowk; Delhi, Dal Baati churma & Bajra roti plus the yummilicious Garlic chutney from Jaipur,Rajasthan; Bun Samosa, a distant cousin of the vada pav from Maharashtra; Dhokhla & Doodh pak from Gujarat; The Tarkari Gassi [veg korma] from Coorg, Karnataka; and finally there was the koozh with add ons from Tamilnadu… Well, the menu changes on a daily basis and so you never know what you are in for on the day you dine! 

The one thing that stood out about this festival was that the dishes all had their distinctive flavours and for those who haven’t travelled the length of our country, it is a beautiful journey into the culinary world…  You can sit in the comfort of the restaurant and dig into a matka of Daulat ki chaat instead of making your way through the hustle bustle of Chandni chowk area… 

Just as we were polishing off the dessert bowls, Chef brought a pot of freshly cooked Sarai Ghosht biryani, and the guys just lost it.. One friend requested the chef if he could get a box to take home to his wife… Well, goes to show how flavours make or break a dish~Was super happy that the flavours were authentic, and the spread was quite extensive [there are the usual dishes from their buffet as well]… 

Food Trails along the NH 48 awaits you at Madras Pavilion, ITC Grand Chola till the 13th of April 2019 [ Only dinner]. It is priced at Rs2200 [excl tax]


For Table Reservations, call: 04449065272, email: mytable.itcgrandchola@itchotels.in
Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit 🙂

[Home cooking- Recipe] Pasta with roasted broccoli and brussel sprouts…

Had bought Brussel Sprouts few days back and was wondering what to make with them. It is one of my favourite vegetables, following close on the heels of Bitter gourd.  So finally decided I shall make pasta for dinner.  Here is how I made it,


Preparation Time: 10mins
Cooking time- 30mins

Serves – 2.5 pax [there was half a cup leftover, which Floppy gobbled up in a flash]

Ingredients 

2 cups of Penne/Fusilli pasta [had some of both and so mixed em up]
Olive oil 
10 – 12 Brussels sprouts [depends on the size… cut them in half/quarter ]
1 cup of Broccoli florets [broken into smaller pieces] 
1/2 Yellow Bell pepper [capsicum- cut into big chunks]
Green olives [ chopped up small]
Salt & Italian herbs[ of your choice- optional]
2 tsp Lime zest 
1/4 cup grated cheese 
Garlic [ optional]

The Method

1) In a pan, bring water to boil with salt & some olive oil. Add pasta and let it cook [ should take about 10-15mins max]. 
Strain and keep aside. 

2) Take an oven tray- Put the broccoli, sprouts, capsicum – sprinkle salt, herbs, lime zest and drizzle olive oil. Mix them all up well. 

Slide into the Oven and let it roast for 10mins, or until the veggies are cooked but have a bite to them.
[you can add garlic with skin on, I dint cos gramma doesnt eat ]

3) In a pan, add some olive oil, toss in the veggies, the pasta , olives and finally the cheese. Just sir for a second and serve hot… Ta da, dinner is served!