Diabetic Friendly Recipe – SAUTEED DRUMSTICK LEAVES

Delighted to get some bunch of drumsticks leaves from the vegetable vendor today. Back home, there is a huge tree where my mum resides and she would make many different variations like pickles, soups, saute or stir-fry, chutney, juice, curries etc.. A drumstick tree in the courtyard is a common sight in Southern India.

Drumstick leaves (muringa ela in malayalam) is a power-house of many nutrients and vitamins. It has lots of health benefit, reduces blood pressure, increases immunity and also reduces sugar level in blood, energy booster and much more.

The leaves of the drumstick when cooked have spinach taste, bit tangy and slightly bitter. Choose drumstick leaves that are fresh, tender and light green in colour without any blemishes. I find drumstick leaves very easy to clean; simply cover it with a kitchen towel and keep in a plastic cover refrigerated; the leaves shed easily.

Simple, healthy and delicious recipe with wholesome goodness of the drumstick leaves, minimal use of spices enjoyed with hot steamed rice and tempered buttermilk is an epicurean delight. The key areas : pick leaves and tender stems; discard away any thick ones. Cook drumstick leaves uncovered till it slightly wilts, keeping in mind not to overcook the leaves as it turns more bitter and all good nutritional properties are lost. Tender leaves cook faster and the old matured ones take longer time to cook. In this recipe, fresh walnuts is added for crunchiness. Toast it in the pan for few seconds, cool and crush lightly. For a different variation, add 4-5 tbsp of any cooked pulses of your choice to enhance taste and skip the walnuts. I do not add curry leaves to any greens and here it is used only as garnish.

Wholesome goodness of drumstick leaves and crunchiness of walnuts for a healthy power-packed lunch.

peep time : 25 mins, cooking time : 15 mins, cuisine : indian, serves : 2-4, author : gloria


3 cups drumstick leaves
1 onion (chopped)
¼ tsp ginger (grated)
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 red chilly pepper (chopped)
¼ tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp walnuts (toasted and crushed)
salt to taste
1 ½ tsp canola oil


Pluck the leaves from the stem and wash nicely thrice. Drain and squeeze out liquid; keep aside.

Into a pre-heated oil, add fennel seeds; once it splutters, add chopped red chilly pepper. Stir for few seconds and add onion.

Saute the onions till it turns soft and translucent. Tip in the ground turmeric, salt and drumstick leaves. Mix to incorporate everything together.

Sprinkle little water and cook uncovered on medium heat for 6-7 minutes or until the liquid is completely evaporated and the leaves are cooked, stirring occasionally.

Finally, add the toasted and crushed walnuts and combine well.

Serve along side hot steamed rice and tempered buttermilk. Enjoy!

My observations/notes:

– substitute red chilly pepper with green chillies


20 thoughts on “Diabetic Friendly Recipe – SAUTEED DRUMSTICK LEAVES

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