Thanjavur Drumstick (Pod From Moringa Tree), Potato And Eggplant Curry

Thanjavur (Tanjore) is a district of Thamizhnadu, famous for its iconic temples. Also equally well-known for its distinctive cuisine. This area has been a seat of Thamizh culture for several centuries and it’s cuisine has been handed down generation after generation. There are many temples in and around Thanjavur built by the Chola kings. Many of these are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments. Also home to Thanjavur painting, a sytle unique to this region. With such a rich history, just add its equally iconic style of cooking. Absolutely lip-smacking. The recipe today is a and potato curry. I add some eggplants to the recipe. If you prefer being a purist, then just omit the eggplant – though eggplant is also used to prepare this curry.
EDIT: I apologise if my post and the use of the term ‘drumstick’ has caused confusion. Having been a vegetarian all my life (and a WFPB vegan for the last decade), I was not familiar with the term ‘chicken drumstick’. In India, the term drumstick is always used to indicate the pods from the moringa tree. Jackie Burke Clinansmith suggested that I edit my post to explain what drumstick is. Which is exactly what I am doing now – thank you, Jackie Burke Clinansmith. This pod is completely plant based. Google for ‘drumstick vegetable’ and you will see numerous references to the pod of the moringa tree. Once again, apologies for the confusion.

Thanjavur Drumstick, Potato & Eggplant Curry

3 large potatoes, cubed
3 drumsticks, cut into 2″ pieces
2 eggplants, cubed
3 large tomatoes. roughly chopped and run through a blender to get a smooth paste
1 onion, chopped fine
5 garlic pods, crushed
1 tbsp fennel seeds powder(saunf, sombu podi)
1/4 tbsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1/4 tbsp black lentils (sabut urad dal, ulutham paurpu)
1 sprig curry leaves
2 tbsp red chili powder
2 tbsp coriander powder (dhania powder, kothamalli podi)
1/4 tbsp turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
Heat a wok and add the mustard seeds
When they begin to splutter, add the garlic
When the garlic begins to turn golden, add the curry leaves
Saute for about 10 seconds
Add the chopped onions and continue to cook
When the onion turns golden brown, add the tomato puree
Add the chili powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder
Add salt and mix well
Cover and cook on medium flame for about 3 minutes till the masala is thick
At this stage, add the drumsticks, potatoes and eggplants
Mix well till the vegetables are well coated with the masala
Cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes
Open the lid and add a cup of water (add more if you prefer the dish with gravy)
Cover again and cook for about 8-10 minutes till the vegetables are done and the gravy is thick
Sprinkle the fennel seeds powder and mix well
Continue cooking till all the water has evaporated (unless you prefer a gravy dish)
Transfer to a serving bowl
Serve hot with red/brown rice or Indian flat breads

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