Murungai Keerai Kootu | Moringa Leaves Kootu

Murungai Keerai Kootu | Drumstick Leaves Kootu

Today, I present Murungai Keerai Kootu, a spicy lentil-based dish with moringa leaves, that is a wonderful accompaniment to both rice and roti. You can have it just by itself as I do.

Drumstick Leaves Kootu | Murungai Keerai Kootu
Drumstick Leaves Kootu | Murungai Keerai Kootu

Drumstick and drumstick leaves were/are common ingredients in South Indian cooking; long before drumstick metamorphosed into Moringa, the superfood. 🙂 Anyway, this new superfood status means people are greatly interested in ways to eat this pod and its leaves. On the blog, you can find recipes for Drumstick Curry with Coconut and Sesame from Andhra Pradesh | Mulakkada Kura, Drumstick and Besan Curry (Pithla) from Maharashtra | Shevgyache Shengache Pithla, and Multi-lentil Dosa with Moringa Leaves from Tamil Nadu | Murungai Keerai Adai

Recipe for Murungai Keerai Kootu | Drumstick Leaves Kootu

Murungai Keerai Kootu | Moringa Leaves Kootu | Drumstick Leaves Kootu
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Murungai Keerai Jootu is a great way of incorporating significant amounts of moringa leaves/drumstick leaves into our daily diet; and as a delicious stew that can be eaten with both rice and roti. 

Course: Accompaniments, Mains
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian, Tamil Nadu
Keyword: Drumstick Leaves Kootu, Moringa Leaves and Green Gram Stew, Moringa Leaves Kootu, Murungai Keerai Kootu
Servings: 4 People
Author: Aruna
  • 1/4 Cup Moong Dal (~60 gms)
  • 1 Cup Moringa Leaves (~35 gms)
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • Salt to Taste
For Kootu Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Udad Dal
  • 1/2 tsp Chana Dal
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 8-10 Fenugreek Seeds (Methi)
  • 1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 3 tbsp Grated Coconut
  • 2 Red Chillies
  • 2 tsp Oil (Coconut oil preferred)
For Tempering
  • 2 tsp Oil (Coconut oil preferred)
  • 1 tsp Udad Dal
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds (Rai)
  • 2 Red Chillies
  1. Pressure cook the moong dal, moringa leaves, and turmeric in 1.25 cups of water till the dal is totally mashable. Took me about 4 whistles.

  2. Use a heavy ladle to mash the dal well. Set aside.

Making the Masala
  1. Over medium flame, heat the oil.

  2. Add udad dal and chana dal, and fry till they are light golden brown. 

  3. Add the red chillies, fenugreek seeds, and pepper seeds. Stir-fry for a minute.

  4. Add the coriander seeds and stir-fry till aromatic.

  5. Remove from heat and add the coconut. Mix well.

  6. After the mix cools a bit, grind to a fine paste with about 3-4 tbsp water.

Making the Murungai Keerai Kootu
  1. Add the ground masala and salt to the cooked dal and leaves. Mix well.

  2. In a ladle, heat the oil.

  3. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.

  4. Add udad dal and wait till it turns light brown.

  5. Add split red chillies.

  6. Add the tempering to the kootu and mix well.

  7. Cover and let the kootu rest for at least 15 minutes before serving with rice or roti.

Murungai Keerai Kootu
Murungai Keerai Kootu

How to Make Murungai Keerai Kootu

Drumstick Leaves Kootu | Murungai Keerai Kootu
Drumstick Leaves Kootu | Murungai Keerai Kootu

I am taking this wonderful traditional dish from Tamil Nadu to the A to Z Recipe Challenge. For the challenge, this month we have to cook with an ingredient whose English name begins with the letter D and I chose Drumstick Leaves


  1. Moringa leaves with mung dal sound comforting to me Aruna ! Love the flavors going in the kootu . I wish I get hold of moringa leaves here .

  2. This drumsticks leaves dish is totally new to me. Love all those simple spices paired with dal and drumsticks leaves looks very yummy, warm and comforting. Such a wonderful dish!

  3. There is a practice of using drumsticks in Bengali cuisine also but I am not sure about the drumstick leaves. Mung dal is the most favourite one among all dals in my house. I am happy to know a new recipe of mung dal. Lovely share for the theme. ?

  4. I usually make drumstick leaves dal, never tried kootu. I am very much tempted with masala paste used here. It seems so much flavourful and healthy kootu. Bookmarking this recipe to try sometime.

  5. This sounds like a light, comforting meal and perfect for getting back from all the heavy eating during Diwali. I do add drumstick leaves to khichdi and I love them!

  6. How flavourful and nutritious this kootu will be. I just love these sort of simple yet a fabulous kootu dish to have without any fuss.

  7. To be honest, I never used this leaves in my cooking. Had once thought of buying it, but did not. I have also shortlisted this for the letter D but as mentioned was not sure. Now I know this wonderful and healthy recipe and I am definitely gonna try this. Awesome share for the letter D and awesome clicks.

  8. Superb share for the theme. it is a loving recipe and one that says comfort in all its might. Love it anytime

I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.