Drumstick Thokku

Day before my maid had got some drumsticks from her backyard. I kind of felt nostalgic. Kundan hates drumstick; we at home love drumstick and I’m missing it so much now, especially murungaikai sambar. It seems one of our ancestors used to say that the taste of drumstick is in its skin and the taste of brinjal is in its ‘kaambu’ (The green part that clutches the vegetable); of course not literally, it means we ought to consume those usually ignored parts of vegetables as well. Being from a village, I like to chew the drumstick skin like we eat sugarcane;I know it is boorish for people who want to seem sophisticated. But I would suggest, don’t abandon the vegetable itself for its tough skin; drumsticks are real tasty and very healthy too. My amma makes thokku out of drumsticks and they are so so yummy and versatile; you can have it with steamed rice, curd rice, idly, dosa, parathas or any dish that goes well with spicy accompaniment. 
Ingredients:
  1. Drumstick – 5
  2. Gingelly oil – 5 tbsp
  3. Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  4. Asafoetida – 1 pinch
  5. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  6. Chili powder – 1 tbsp
  7. Salt – 1/2 tbsp
  8. Tamarind pulp – 1 tbsp (You can also soak tamarind, extract pulp and use; this would be dilute and you would require to add 4-5 tbsp)
  9. Jaggery – 1 tsp
 Method:
  1. After trimming the edges, chop the drumsticks to 3″ long pieces and blanch them for 3 whistles or until soft.Let it cool.
  2. Now split each piece by light press, ideally it has three faces and so you’ll see three strips with flesh when you split a piece. Scoop the pulp cleanly with a spoon. 
  3. Now in a pan, heat gingelly oil, splutter mustard seeds, sprinkle asafoetida and add drumstick pulp. 
  4. Add turmeric, salt, red chili powder and keep stiring for 3 minutes. Now stir in tamarind pulp, jaggery and mix. Check and adjust spices.
  5. Simmer and occasionally stir until all moisture is evaporated. Turn off stove, let it cool completely and then store in airtight containers.

Note: Though it seems like pickle, it would contain residual moisture as it is blanched; so if you want to use for more than 3-4 days, refrigerate it in airtight containers. Try using them within 15-20 days; unlike pickles thokkus lose flavour and taste on ageing.

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