Coconut Drumstick Drumsticks Vegetable Indian Kerala Kerala Thoran Sides

Drumstick Thoran – Moringa and Coconut Stir Fry, Kerala Vegetarian Side Dish


Moringa or drumstick along with coconut when stir-fried tastes delicious and is a healthy side dish…

When we hear drumstick , the first thing that comes to our mind is Chicken drumstick or legs. Well, this is not that, this drumstick is vegetarian and is a long rod-shaped veggie that is found hanging on drumstick trees.

India being the largest producer of moringa or drumsticks, it’s used widely in cooking. Drumstick trees are seen in the backyard of most houses in South India. The leaves, the drumstick, even the flowers can be used for cooking. It’s like a medicinal plant, the leaves and drumstick are rich in iron and have remarkable health benefits. Drumsticks can be added to curries or can be stir-fried with coconut. This is my favorite way of cooking drumstick.

In North America, drumsticks are available at Indian stores and some Asian stores. If lucky, you will find fresh drumsticks, otherwise, check the frozen veggie aisle. Last weekend, I got frozen drumstick from the Indian store and made Kerala style thoran with it. This is usually enjoyed as a side dish along with rice.

drumstick thoran

Preparation Pictures

Cooking drumstick

making-drumstick thoran

After adding ground coconut

makign drumstick thoran

Drumstick Thoran - Moringa and Coconut Stir fry
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4 People
To grind
  • Coconut grated- ¾ cup
  • Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
For cooking
  • Oil- 1½ tbsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Dried red chilies, halved- 2
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Chana dal- 1 tbsp
  • Small onions or shallots, chopped- 3 large shallots or 6 small onions
  • Drumstick, 3-inch slices- 20 to 25
  • Chili powder- ½ tsp
  • Salt- 1 tsp
  1. In a blender, coarsely grind coconut, cumin seeds and turmeric powder along with very little water, keep aside.
  2. If using fresh moringa or drumstick, cut it into 3-inch size.
  3. Place a wok or non-stick pan over medium heat, add oil.
  4. Add mustard seed, let splutter.
  5. Add dried red chilies, curry leaves, saute for a few seconds.
  6. Add chana dal, saute till the dal turns golden in color.
  7. Add chopped small onions or shallots, season with ½ tsp salt, saute till onions turn light golden.
  8. Add moringa or drumstick, combine well & add ¼ cup water.
  9. Cook covered till moringa turns soft. Don't overcook them.
  10. Add the coarsely ground coconut, combine well.
  11. Add chili powder & salt; combine well. For less heat add Kashmiri chili powder.
  12. Stir fry for a few minutes till coconut turns golden brown.
  13. This is a dry dish.
  14. Transfer to a bowl and enjoy as a side dish along with rice.



Thas is the author of Cooking with Thas, a popular food blog with recipes from Indian, American and Fusion Cuisines. She has been blogging since 2009 and been featured in several magazines. Read more...