When you stay abroad, it’s always great to see fresh vegetables in the Indian grocery store. I generally pick up drumsticks to make Sambhar which is a South Indian dish. The inner pulp and seeds of drumsticks are extremely delicious and impart great flavour to sambhar. In India, we had Maharashtrian neighbours who made Drumstick Aamti. This dal like dish has a pronounced coconut taste balanced by spices and tamarind. I decided to make the dish with store-bought coconut milk but the best way to make it would be to extract fresh coconut milk. The ground spices lend the required kick and is one of the simplest dishes that goes with rice. When served hot, this dish is finger lickingly awesome!
Recipe Details :
Serves: 4 pax
Time: 30 mins
- 2 drumsticks, deskinned and cut along the length into small sized pieces
- 1.5 cups coconut milk (go for the thicker variety, if store bought)
- 2 small onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup grated coconut
- 6-8 black peppercorns
- 1 lemon sized piece of tamarind
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp oil
- Salt to taste
- Soak the tamarind in warm water and set it aside for 10 mins. Extract the tamarind juice and throw away the seeds.
- Grind coconut, black peppercorns, red chilli powder, and turmeric powder. No water is required for grinding at this stage.
- Take the drumstick pieces and apply the ground masala ingredients on them.
- Take oil in a pan and heat it on low flame. Once it heats a bit, add the chopped onion and cook it till translucent.
- Now add the marinated drumsticks into it along with a bit of water and salt such that the drumstick pieces are just soaked. Cover the pan with a lid for the drumsticks to cook through.
- When the drumsticks are partially cooked, add in the tamarind juice that was prepared earlier and let it cook till the raw smell of tamarind goes away.
- Now add in the coconut milk and let it simmer on low flame. Stir it well so that the spices mix into the liquid. Check the red chilli powder balance and add more if you like a spicy broth.
- Switch off the flame in 3 mins as its not required to boil the coconut milk base too much.
- This dish tastes awesome with rice served along with papad and pickle.
- You can modify the balance of flavours to your liking. Change the proportion of tamarind, coconut milk, and chilli to get the taste you like.
- Don’t boil the dish once you add the coconut milk – simmer on a low flame.