“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….

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