Murungakeerai Poriyal | Drumstick Leaves Stir Fry

Murunga Keerai Poriyal

In my school days, my mom used to run behind me and make me eat greens. When it comes to any Murunga keerai (drumstick) dish, I will run behind my mom asking for more. Right from my school days, I love Murunga keerai so much.

My father also likes it so much. When it come to Murunga keerai poriyal, I love it so much and usually I have it with sambar or curd rice. I can even have about 3 cups of Murunga keerai poriyal. I do not get Murunga keerai here so whenever I go to India, my mom makes this murunga keerai poriyal and murunga keerai sambar for me. I also love its color – the dark green. Adding grated coconut is one’s choice but I like it with grated coconut. I feel the grated coconut give a special flavor. Did I say its Gj’s favorite too. When my mom came from India this time, I asked her to bring some Murunga keerai leaves. I have to quickly cook it otherwise it will spoil very easily. I did not find time to click pictures, but I have done my best. Hope you all like the pictures as well as the recipe.

Preparation Time. 10 minutes
Cook Time. 10 minutes
Recipe Cuisine. Indian
Recipe Category. Side dish
Serves. 3


Murunga keerai (drumstick leaves) – 2 cups
Onion (chopped) – 1 no.
Red chillies (kanja molaga) – 2 nos.
Grated coconut – 2 tablespoon
Salt – as desired

To Season

Mustard seeds (kadugu) – 1/2 teaspoon
Urad dal – 1 teaspoon
Red chillies – 2 nos.
Asafoetida – a pinch
Oil – 1 teaspoon

Note. The ingredients shown will vary with the original quantity.


1. In a pan, heat oil and then add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds splutter, add urad dal, asafoetida, and red chillies. Once urad dal turns golden brown, add the chopped onion.

2.  Once the onions turn golden brown, add the murunga keerai (drumstick leaves). Stir well. Do not add water. The keerai will get cooked by its own water.

3.  Add salt and stir well. Cover with the lid and simmer the flame. The raw smell of the murunga keerai will go away. Keep stirring for a minute or so.

4. When the keerai shrinks in size, add grated coconut and give a quick stir.

Now Murunga Keerai Poriyal is ready!

You can serve this Murunga Keerai Poriyal with the following recipes:
Avaraikkai Kootu(Broad Beans Kootu), Cauliflower and Carrot Kootu, Cucumber Kootu, Vazhaipoo Kootu (Banana Blossom Curry), Dal Tadka,
Spinach Moong Dal, Spring Onion Moong Dal, Cucumber Moru Kootu, Poosanikai Mor Kuzhambu, Paruppu Rasam, Pineapple Rasam,
Poondu Rasam (Garlic Rasam), Capsicum Sambar, Oats Curd Rice 


  • Adding grated coconut is optional but grated coconut enhances the flavor of the poriyal.
  • Murunga keerai gets cooked easily. They also get burned quickly. If it gets burned, they would taste bitter and the poriyal will not taste good at all.
  • To retain the keerai color, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.
  • Use only the leaves and remove the stalks.

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