Archive for September 5, 2006

Drumstick “Risotto”


I had some extra time on my hands this evening, and a craving for drumsticks.
I know from past experience that they are time consuming to scrape, but the pulp and seeds are so sweet and delicious that it’s worth the extra effort. I wanted something to showcase the flavor of the drumsticks — I thought of sambhar, but I was in the mood for something a little more substantial.

When I first saw sona masuri rice, with its short sturdy grain, I thought it would make a good rice for risotto. I cooked this using the same basic method one would use for a risotto: sauteeing seasonings, veggies and rice in butter or oil, then adding liquid in small amounts so the rice absorbs it slowly. I was really pleased with the end result — the rice had the smallest hint of a chewy bite, with just the creamy texture I had imagined. It was full of drumstick flavor, mildly spiced and rich-tasting. I’ll definitely experiment with some other flavor combinations.

Drumstick “Risotto”
makes about 3 cups

1 pkg frozen drumsticks, boiled, cooled, and scraped
(about 1 c pulp)

1 tsp oil or ghee
1 dried red chile, deseeded
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
10-12 small curry leaves
2-3 big garlic cloves, minced (or 1 TB garlic paste)

1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small tomato, finely chopped

2 tsp sambhar powder
I used store-bought, to compensate for time spent scraping drumsticks 😉

1/4 tsp turmeric
salt to taste

1/3 c sona masuri rice, rinsed
approx. 1 2/3c warm water, divided (more if necessary)


Wash the frozen drumsticks well under running water. Boil in salted water until tender. Drain. When cool enough to handle, split the pods and scrape out the pulp with a spoon. You should have about 1 cup of pulp. Set aside.

In a medium pot, heat oil or ghee over med-high heat. Add dried chile and mustard seeds. When the chile begins to change color and mustard pops, reduce heat to medium and add cumin, curry leaves, and garlic. Saute a few minutes, then add onion and tomato. Saute until onion begins to brown, then add drumstick pulp, sambhar powder, turmeric, and salt to taste. Add rinsed rice and cook, stirring to coat rice with the seasonings, about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to med-low and ladle in about 1/3 c water. Cook, stirring continuously, about 5 min or until the water is absorbed. Add another 1/3 c water and cook, still stirring, another 5 min or until absorbed. Repeat with the rest of the water, 1/3 c at a time, until rice is cooked through. The consistency should be more like that of a thick rice pudding, rather than fluffy separate grains.

To go with the risotto, I boiled some moong dal in plain salted water with a little chopped tomato. With a dish of yogurt on the side, I had a complete meal.

drumstick "risotto" with moong dal
drumstick “risotto” with plain moong dal

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