Adding vegetables to meaty dishes is a trick mothers around the world use to boost the nutritional value of the food. In Kerala, the vegetable they use for this is drumstick. Drumstick is filled with healthy nutrients and blends well with the rich taste of prawns and coconut. Another plus is that it is a great accompaniment with boiled rice or rice-based breakfast dishes such as idiyappam, appam and puttu.

  • Serves


  • Cook Time



  • 12 prawns
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 5 shallots
  • 4 pieces kudampuli (Malabar tamarind)
  • 3 green chillies, slit
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 drumstick
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 15 gm ginger, chopped
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp Guntur chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp mustard
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • Salt to taste


  1. Clean prawns well. Marinate with salt and turmeric powder and keep aside.
  2. Cut drumsticks into 3-inch pieces or the size of your finger.
  3. Soak kudampuli in 1 cup of water for half an hour.
  4. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard and fenugreek seeds. Once mustard starts spluttering, toss in chopped garlic, chopped ginger, slit green chillies, curry leaves and shallots. Keep stirring.
  5. When the mixture turns slightly brown, add tomatoes and reduce the flame.
  6. Add turmeric powder, Guntur chilli powder, Kashmiri chilli powder, coriander powder, kudampuli water along with 2 cups of water, salt and drumsticks. Boil for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Drop in cleaned prawns and coconut milk.
  8. Keep on low heat and simmer until the gravy starts thickening. Serve hot.
Regi Mathew

Regi Mathew

Regi Mathew, co-owner and culinary director of Kappa Chakka Kandhari in Chennai and Bengaluru, is Scroll Food’s Chef of the Month for September. His culinary career, which began with the Taj Group of Hotels, has taken him to several countries, where he has learnt many cuisines. After 25 years in the F&B industry, he decided to closely explore the cuisine of his home state, Kerala. For three years, he travelled through the state, researching its food, and working with 265 housewives and 70 toddy shops, some of whom are now part of the restaurant’s kitchen. He has won several accolades in his career, including being adjudged the Chef of the Year at the Times Food Awards, Chennai, in 2018.

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