Food With Love,  Recipes

Murungai Ilai [Moringa Leaves] kulambu

You might have heard about murungai (moringa) and its benefits. It’s something people in Asia have been eating for generations, but only recently people in the west “recognized” it as a superfood. Not only the tree’s leaves, but also the sticks and bark are useful, and have been used in food and for medication, mainly in Siddha Maruthuvam, for ages. The word muringa is actually derived from the tamil name murungai and the malayali name muringa.

We use the sticks very much, and it’s easy to buy them in the local tamil stores, but the leaves are not always imported. Whenever we are able to buy them, we do, because we love them and of course of the benefits.

Murungai is full of iron, magnesium, pottasium, calcium, folate, zinc, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3. Moreover it is extremely low in fats, and has no harmful cholesterol!

Today I made a murungai leaves kulambu (kind of curry) inspired by the Indian cook Venkatesh Bhat. I love watching his videos and his cooking tips, and he shares a lot of yummy recipes 😋 This recipe is actually a Siddha Maruthuva recipe.

This recipe serves 4 persons. It is usually eaten with rice.

Ingredients (again, listed them after the instructions order, to make it easier for you):

Note: read the instructions carefully, before you start cooking! ☺️

Part 1:

1 tbsp rice

1 tbsp thuvaram paruppu /toor dal/yellow split pigeons peas

Roast these 2 ingredients, grind it to a powder and keep aside.

Part 2:

100 g fresh, grated coconut

7-8 dried chillies

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp water

Blend these ingredients to a paste, and set aside

Part 3:

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

3 dried chillies

15-20 asian shallots, peeled (not cut)

3 garlic gloves, cut in small, fine pieces or mashed

Curry leaves from 1 or 2 stems

Part 4:


100 ml tamarind water (about 3 cm tamarind dissolved in 100 ml hot water)

Part 5:

200 g murungai ilai/moringa leaves

Part 6:

250 ml water

100 g thuvaram paruppu/toor dal, PRE-COOKED

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Part 7:

2-3 tbsp sesame oil


In a pan, heat the oil (from part 3), and add the rest of the ingredients from part 3, and cook it well.

Then add the paste from part 2, and cook it well for 6-7 min., or till the raw smell has gone.

Now add the ingredients from part 4, mix it well and cook for another 2 min.

Add the grind powder (from part 1), mix it well and cook it for 2 min.

Now add part 5, cook the leaves well for 5-6 min.

Then add the ingredients from part 6. Mix it well, cook for 5 min.

Pour over 2-3 tbsp sesame oil (part 7) before serving the kulambu with rice ☺️

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