Jun 18, 2008

Recipe - Mullakada Pulusu (Drumsticks sambar)

(Pigeon Peas cooked with Drumsticks)


Pulusu is part of a nutritious meal as it includes all the components of a balanced meal. It is very suitable for those who want to cook a single side item with rice. Very popular among young couples and busy professionals as it can be cooked relatively quickly.

Pulusu is very popular in South India. Each state, for that matter every household, in southern India cooks pulusu/sambar with variations. For example, a small amount of sugar or jaggery is added for sweetness. Others add coconut for flavor. Different combination of vegetables are added for different flavor.

Drumsticks are very rich in calcium, high in vitamin and mineral content, adding toor dal to drumsticks makes the dish protien rich too.


  • Toor dal - 1 cup
  • Drumsticks - 12 pieces
  • Tomato- 1 cup
  • Onion - 1 cup
  • Green chillies - 2
  • Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon (according to taste)
  • Salt - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Water - 5 cups
  • Jaggery/Sugar - 2 teaspoons (according to taste)
  • Tamarind - 1 teaspoon (concentrate or 1 and 1/2 tspn Lemon juice)

For seasonsing:

  • Ghee - 1 table spoon
  • Mastard seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Dry red chillies - 2
  • Asafoetida - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves - 2 stalks

Preparation for cooking dal and vegetables:

Wash toor dal well, pressure cook dal with 3 cups of water, cut tomatoes, green chillies and salt and turmeric for one whistle. Set it aside. Note: Some people prefer to add all the vegetables to the dal and pressure cook it. You can do that if you are in a hurry or would like to cook all in one go and make it an easy preparation in one step.

Preparation for vegetables if you are not cooking with dal:

Cut drumsticks to two inch size. It is good not to cut them tiny else they will get mushy. Pressure cook drumsticks, onion and tomato with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and turmeric for one whistle. Set it aside.


Preheat the saucepan/pot with ghee on medium high temperature. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds to ghee and let seeds splutter. Add red chillies, green chillies (optional), curry leaves and asafoetida to it.

After a minute add onions to the seasoning and sautee it for couple of minutes or little brown. Start adding all the above cooked ingredients (dal and vegetables) to the seasoning.

Add 2 -3 cups of water to bring it to your desired consistency. Add sugar/jaggery. Turn the temperature down to medium low and let it cook for 15 minutes. This allows all the spices to blend well with pulusu/sambar.

If you pressure cooked all the ingredients in one step, then add the seasoning, tamarind paste/pulp and boil it for 15 - 20 minutes.

Preparation time: 20 - 30minutes

# Servings 4- 6


  • For those who are watching their diet, you can try different types of oil for the seasonings. For example, sesame oil seasoning is very tasty and helpful for colder climates.
  • For Tamarind pulp: Take 5 small stalks of tamarind add half cup of water and microwave it for 2- 3 minutes. the water will decrease to 1/4 cup. Let it cool and then mash the tamarind pulp with a spoon and filter it.


Asha said...

Great tips!:)

Love Drumsticks, I get frozen ones here, looks yummy DP!

skribles said...

I love drumstick in sambar ... nice post and pics :)

Jeena said...

I would love a bowl of this, yum. :-)

Jamie said...

This looks really good, and it really got my attention when you said it was for people who are busy and on the go. This may be a stupid question, but what exactly are drumsticks? I don't believe I have ever seen them before, or at least called them by that name. I would love to learn more about it!

Devi Priya said...


Drumsticks are kind of a vegetable. You can get more info about drum sticks at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drumstick_%28vegetable%29

You can make the same dish with just mixed vegetables, zuccini, yam's etc... vegetables of your choice. Called "Sambar". Please refer to Archive: http://priya-kitchen.blogspot.com/2008/03/recipe-sambar-pigeon-peas-cooked-with_08.html

Devi Priya said...

Thank you all for stopping by!

notyet100 said...

curry looks delicious ...

Andhra Flavors said...

good tips priya :)

Uma said...

Yum, yum mulakkada pulusu! I can smell it from the picture. Chala chala bagundi. I wish I was your guest! Thanks for the tips.

Srivalli said...

munakkaya sambar or charu is always a fav at home..your bowl with those broken drumsticks looks yummy

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Some of the recipes presented here are originally inspired by others. Credit is given to the original postings. I have listed recipes here for my own reference as well as pictures are my addition to the whole cooking experience. Enjoy.