Murungai Keerai Paruppu Usili Recipe - Drumstick Leaves & Toor Dal

Murungai Keerai Paruppu Usili Recipe is a crumbly and soft preparation of dal along with the goodness of drumstick leaves. This dish makes a great accompaniment along with rasam and rice for a light weeknight meal.

Nithya Anantham
Murungai Keerai Paruppu Usili Recipe - Drumstick Leaves & Toor Dal
1235 ratings.

Usili is a traditional and popular recipe from the state of Tamil Nadu, in which dal or paruppu is steamed cooked along with spices. It is mainly cooked with a variety of vegetables namely, french beans, broad beans, leafy greens etc. 

Murungai Keerai Paruppu Usili is a dal crumble made with the fresh Moringa or Drumstick leaves.

Moringa leaves is one of the new superfoods filled with various minerals and vitamins that are essential to the body.The vitamin A, C and B6 in Moringa is beneficial to keep the eyes and bone healthy. Moringa leaves in this particular dish renders a beautiful bitter flavour and crunchiness to the whole dish. 

Did You know: The drumstick tree is typically called a powerhouse of minerals as every part of it — leaves, fruits (pods), flowers, barks and seeds — has tremendous medicinal value. Popularly used in many South Indian preparations, fresh pods called drumsticks cooked along with their seeds are a good source of oleic acid, a health-benefiting monounsaturated fat. 

Serve Murungai Keerai Paruppu Usili along with Steamed Rice and Tomato Jeera & Paruppu Rasam Recipe for a weekday lunch. 

If you like this recipe, here are a few more Drumstick Leaves recipes:

  1. Drumstick Leaves Kadhi Pakora Recipe
  2. Ragi Drumstick Leaves Adai (Finger Millet Flour & Drumstick Leaves Savory Flat Bread) Recipe
  3. Drumstick Leaves Fried Rice Recipe

Cuisine: Tamil Nadu
Course: Side Dish
Diet: Diabetic Friendly
Prep in

10 M

Cooks in

20 M

Total in

30 M


4 Servings


  • 1-1/2 cups Drumstick Leaves (Moringa/Murungai Keerai)
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds (Rai/ Kadugu)
  • 1 Dry Red Chilli
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asafoetida (hing)
  • 3 teaspoons Oil
  • Salt , to taste
  • Ingredients to make the Paruppu Usili
  • 1 cup Arhar dal (Split Toor Dal)
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds (Saunf)
  • 2 Dry Red Chillies
  • Salt , as per your taste

How to make Murungai Keerai Paruppu Usili Recipe - Drumstick Leaves & Toor Dal

  1. To begin making the Murungai Keerai Paruppu Usili Recipe, wash and soak toor dal for 30 minutes.

  2. *To make the Paruppu Usili

  3. After 30 minutes drain the water from dal.

  4. Combine the soaked toor dal along with fennel seeds, dried red chillies, and salt in a mixer jar and grind to a coarse mix using a mixer grinder. Transfer to a bowl. 

  5. Heat an idli steamer on medium heat, with enough water. Grease the idli mould and keep it ready. 

  6. Now make small lemon sized balls of the prepared paruppu usili mixture, and place it in the idli mould.

  7. Cover and steam cook for 10 minutes, until the dal mixture is cooked. (Don't make the ball of dals too tight as the lentils will not steam very well)

  8. In a wide pan, add oil and heat it on medium heat, add the mustard seeds, asafoetida and let it splutter. Add the dried red chillies, and let it crackle.

  9. Add the drumstick leaves, season with salt, mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes until the drumstick leaves are cooked well. 

  10. Meanwhile, remove the steamed toor dal balls, crumble it with your hands so that it resembles the sandy texture.

  11. Once the drumstick leaves are cooked well, add the crumbled toor dal mix to the pan and mix well.

  12. At this stage you can add a teaspoon or two of oil, if the mixture looks too dry.

  13. Saute for 2 minutes, until the dal crumbles are nice and crispy and switch off the heat. It is ready to be served.

  14. Serve Murungai Keerai Paruppu Usili along with Steamed Rice and Tomato Jeera & Paruppu Rasam Recipe for a weeknight dinner.