Shevgyacha KaalvaN or country style drumsticks daal comes straight from the heart of India. It is what we call gava kadcha kaalvaN.
Drumsticks or Shevgyachya Shenga as they are called in Marathi are dirty looking sticks that you would never think were edible. But this hardy looking vegetable is quite popular across the cross section of India. The drumstick tree grows easily and flourishes without much care. It can found in pretty much any backyard or on farms and fields.
Although I grew up in a highly urban environment, my father tells many stories of the various fruit and vegetable trees in and around their neighborhood. This tree grew in my aunt’s garden, and we enjoyed its bounty when we went there during the summer holidays. South Indians love using drumsticks in their sambar.
Drumsticks have a peculiar, slightly bitter flavor that is hard to describe. Most of the flesh actually contains a seed which is not edible. They could be an acquired taste. No wonder then, that kids today may not really have tasted this vegetable at all. You will be hard pressed to find anything featuring drumsticks on a restaurant menu. So this drumsticks daal is certainly homestyle and rustic. And a great addition to #30daysofdaal.
I searched around the web for a Shevgyachi AamTi recipe, and found none of them are similar to what I am going to blog about. As I said before, I prefer to use less ingredients for maximum flavor. And I also prefer that every dish I make tastes different from the other.
This particular style of daal is common in Western Maharashtra, particularly in rural areas. I discussed this with a friend of mine and she explained how it uses things that are readily available in the region. Peanuts grow abundantly in the area, and drumstick trees are generally common on farms. This dish combines toor daal or split pigeon peas and the drumsticks themselves, and is eaten with both bhakri – a dry bread made from jowar – and rice. The idea is to minimize work or cooking.
The daal here is not entirely cooked but half cooked so that it still retains some texture and is chewy. I have tried to illustrate how the daal should be by using a garnish of cooked daal in the photos.
I introduced the kanda-lasoon spice mix that is particular to this region in my Daal Kolhapuri recipe. I will be using the same spice here, along with ground roasted peanuts to thicken the stew.
This Shevgyacha KaalvaN or shevgyachya shenganchi aamTi or drumsticks daal can be stretched easily by adding more water, spice and maybe some danyacha koot or ground peanuts to feed a crowd.
I am using some additional fresh garlic to intensify the garlic flavor and sliced onions may also be added, although I had none on hand today.
It is important to cook the drumsticks and the daal both for only 1 or 2 whistles so that they are parboiled and not overcooked.
Drumsticks are easily available in Indian stores in larger cities in the US (definitely in Central Jersey, DC, Bay Area) and frozen drumsticks are also commonly found in these stores.
Shevgyacha KaalvaN – Drumsticks Daal Recipe
- 2 drumsticks
- ½ cup toor daal
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 Tbsp kanda lasoon masala
- 3 Tbsp danyacha koot or powdered roasted peanuts
- 3 Tbsp oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- Pinch of hing or Asafoetida
- ½ tsp turmeric ground
- ¼ tsp goda masala optional
- 1 Tbsp jaggery or brown sugar (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Cut the drumsticks in 2 inch pieces. Cook drumsticks and daal in pressure cooker for just 1 or 2 whistles.
- Heat oil in a wok and add mustard seeds.
- Once mustard seeds pop, add hing, turmeric, and chopped garlic.
- Add the kanda lasoon or onion garlic spice mix and goda masala and the drumsticks.
- Gently mix with a spatula taking care not to break the sticks.
- Add 2-3 cups of water, jaggery and crushed peanuts.
- Bring to a boil.
- Add in the daal and simmer until mixture thickens and oil begins to separate from the sides.
- Season as needed and cook until the daal is soft enough for your taste.
- Serve hot with bhakri or rice.
I have added some sugar but my friend tells me that no sugar is added to this recipe. She also insists that we start with uncooked drumsticks and uncooked toor daal and simmer it until it is just tender crisp. I have gone for a slightly more ‘cooked down’ version.
I am very happy to blog about this lesser known recipe as part of #30daysofdaal. Although it is not my family’s recipe, it is certainly A family recipe, not to be found in commercial outlets.
I hope you take the plunge, be brave and try it out.