It has a bite to it, slightly bitter/ horseradish kind of flavor. The bitterness reduces when cooked along with suitable companions. Adding some butter/ghee enhances the flavor even more so.  If you are starting out, I would suggest trying it out via some simple dal like Methi Dal (use these leaves instead of methi) or adding it to a lentil batter like Adai, which trust me is simply mind blowing!

  • 280 grams Moringa Leaves (Murungai Keerai), see Tips
  • 1/3 Cup Moong Dal
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Urad Dal (split Black gram)
  • 1-2 Red Chilli
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Lemon Juice to taste
Moringa Leaves: I had a roughly large bunch weighing around 280 grams. The leaves alone including the tender stems weighed approximately 150 grams (6oz). Depending on your taste preferences you can increase or decrease the amount of moong dal in this recipe. You can increase especially if  trying to mask the slight bitterness of the drumstick leaves.
1. Soak the moong dal in some water overnight or at least 1-2 hours. This step is optional but soaking not only aids digestion but also reduces the cooking time significantly. If you are short on time you can start cooking immediately without soaking as well.
2. Drain and add this to a saucepan. Add enough water (about a cup) along with turmeric.
3. Cook in med-high flame, allow it to boil and cook until just soft.
4. You don't want it mushy.  If you have soaked the lentils, then check around the 6-8 minute mark. Take a cooked moong dal and press it with your fingers, it should be soft enough to press easily.
5. At this stage, remove the cooked moong dal from flame and drain. Retain any water leftover.
6. Remove the drumsticks leaves from the stem. You can use the tender stems.  Wash and give it a rough chop.
7. Heat oil in a pan ( I use the same pan used to cook my dal)  and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds sputter, add split urad dal and broken red chilli and fry them till the dal turns golden brown. Add cumin and when the aroma hits.
8. Add the chopped leaves along with and salt and mix well.
9. Add  about 1/2 cup of retained dal water ( otherwise just use water) and allow the leaves to cook completely. The leaves will cook quickly but will not become mushy or slimy.
10. Lower heat and then add cooked dal.
11. Mix well and season with additional salt if needed and lots of pepper powder.
12. Stir to combine, switch the flame and squeeze some fresh lemon juice to taste.