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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sajana Sagaa Kharada (Drumstick leaves Curry)

Drumstick leaves or 'sajana sagaa' as we call it in Odisha happens to be one of my favorite greens. Make into a simple stir fry or cook it with dal and veggies, it tastes awesome. While it has a slightly bitter taste but the aroma is sure to make one hungry. Drumstick leaves and flowers are of great value as sources of carotene, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin C. According to Ayurvedic texts, these leaves have the potential to cure almost 300 types of ailments. With 90 nutrients and 46 antioxidants, these small leaves literally pack a punch. They are usually given as a tonic to young children, pregnant women and lactating mothers to keep them healthy.

I had been missing it for a long time since I never see it being sold in the local vegetable shops/stores in Bangalore. That's why I was overjoyed to find a thelawala selling the greens near my building. I quickly purchased a bundle at rupees 10.

Read on for the recipe -




















Preparation Time - 25 mins

Ingredients -

  • 5 cups of drumstick leaves
  • 1/2 cup diced pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup diced potato
  • few cubes of raw banana
  • 1 medium sized onion (chopped into thin long slices)
  • 5-6 garlic flakes
  • 1/4 cup lightly roasted moong dal/yellow lentil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1-2 dry red chillis
  • 3 tsp oil
  • 2 pinch turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 7-8 fried boris for garnishing


Preparation - Pluck the drumstick leaves from the stem while carefully checking for any insects/eggs.
Wash thoroughly under running water. Keep aside for the water to drain

Cooking - Transfer the lentils along with pumpkin, potato, raw banana, salt and turmeric to a pressure cooker. Add 2/3 cup water and cook for 1 whistle on medium flame. Keep aside for steam to escape.

Heat the oil in a wok. Add the mustard seeds and broken red chilis followed by the onions. Fry till onion turns translucent.

Add the drumstick leaves and stir fry on medium high for 4 mins. Now add the contents of the wok, mix together and allow to cook for another 5-6 mins. Check if the greens are cooked else cook for 2-3 mins more.

Add the crushed garlic and the crushed bori. Remove from flame.

Serve hot with white rice and dal.



















Note - In Western Odisha, a similar dish is prepared but without the veggies and the badi.

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