Murungai Keerai Sodhi (Drumstick Leaves in Coconut Milk)


Murungai Keerai Sodhi takes literally minutes to prepare, but it will take you hours to get the leaves ready for cooking. I plonked myself infront of the iPad and watched 5 and a half episodes of NCIS before I was done plucking individual leaves off the stems. Once the leaves are ready though, you’re good to go.

This recipe is based on a version that my grandmother makes. She adds prawns as well (see tip below), but frankly after all that work prepping the greens, I was in no mood to also peel and clean prawns. So today’s version is vegetarian. It’s very very tasty and a  real treat served with rice and fried fish.

You’ll need:

  • 1 bunch murungai keerai (discard stems)
  • 1 cup small onions (sliced finely)
  • 1 garlic clove (peeled and sliced finely)
  • 4 green chillies chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (remove stem)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • tiny pinch of turmeric
  • 3/4 cup coconut cream
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon roasted black pepper and fenugreek powder
  • Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 3-4 drops of lemon juice (optional)


Heat oil, add cumin seeds. Once they pop, add curry leaves. Then add onions, garlic and green chillies. Add a pinch of salt. Cook until onion is soft and golden. Add ginger garlic paste and stir well. Add murungai keerai and stir well. Cook until leaves are soft. Add turmeric, coconut cream and water. Bring to a boil on low heat. When you see the first sign of bubbles and the coconut is warmed through, remove pot from heat. Add roasted black pepper and fenugreek powder and season with salt. If using lemon juice, allow sodhi to cook slightly before stirring the lemon juice in. Serve with rice. Enjoy!


If you decide to add prawns, de-shell and de-vein prawns before adding. If using larger prawns, cut them into smaller bite sized pieces. Add the raw prawns to the cooked onions prior to adding the drumstick leaves. Cook until prawns turn pink and then continue with the recipe.

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