Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Drumstick Leaves Mini Dosa (Shengaa Palle Sanna Pole/ Maska Saange Palle Sanna Pole)

The best part about Konkani cuisine is that we have so much of fresh seasonal produce and vegetables which are abundantly used in cooking that the mere taste of these Vegetables, Gourds, Leaves are a delight; Getting to use them to the optimum level when they are available during the season time is another joy for a Foodie's soul.

Drumstick tree or Shengaa or Maska Saange tree is one such tree which you will find in some Konkani homes if not at all homes. We were lucky since wherever we stayed, we had one tall, huge tree right outside the nose of our house. I have fond memories of all cousins and siblings going Drumstick leaf picking during summer only to get home by noon. The thrill of the activity was synonymous with all of us winning a big victorious battle fighting the demons and monsters of the natural world and then we are back home with giggles and laughter. Our dirty, scrawny knees, faces dabbed with mud and a cherubic smile just to please the lady of the house - my mother. Not to mention plenty of hugs would be the order of the day followed by a lunch delightfully waited for, after a tiring toil of labor and hard work.

The huge bunch of leaves which are picked are always a blend of few tarney paan (konkani term for young leaves which are light green in color) and joon paan (konkani term for older leaves which are dark green in color). Mom always insisted on fresh, light green younger leaves because they add a fresh, cripy aroma to the Sanna Pole. Shengaa or Drumsticks were used to make Drumstick Kolmbo, Drumstick Fritters et al. Drumstick leaves if added too much render a bitter flavour. So one needs to be watchful of the quantity required to be used. Drumstick flowers or Shengaa Phool which are white, tiny buds are also used to make these tiny Mini Dosa's in my house. Since, I did not have Drumstick leaves handy I used Fenugreek leaves or Methi leaves to make the Mini Dosa's. The picture above is a tiny sapling which my Pacchi had planted; this tiny baby sapling had grown to a short height earlier and now I hear that she would be bearing Drumsticks and flowers soon. Yay! Plants and vegetables patches offer me a unique joy which cannot be compared to anything in the world! I hope to see this sprawling canopy of green leaves laden with fruits and flowers when I see her next.

Cooking time ~ 15 minutes
Preparation time ~ 240 minutes (includes soaking time)
Yield ~ 6-7 Mini Dosa's

Drumstick leaves (chopped into tiny bits) - 3 cups
Dosa Rice (Sona Masoori variety) - 1/2 cup
Red Chillies (Byadgi variety preferred) - 5-6
Tamarind pulp - 1 teaspoon
Salt - As per taste
Grated coconut (fresh or frozen) - 2-3 tablespoons
Turmeric powder - Just a pinch

Wash rice till clear and pre-soak rice in water for 4-5 hours. Roast red chillies in a teaspoon of oil and mildly sweat them in oil till they are partially roasted for 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool. Grind along with Rice, Red Chillies, Tamarind, Turmeric powder, Salt and grated coconut to a coarse paste with very little water.

Mix the batter with chopped Drumstick leaves bits. Too many leaves render a bitter taste, so be watchful. Adjust salt and spice levels. Heat a shallow frying pan, take a spoonful of the batter mix and spread on the pan. Spread mini dosa batter as per capacity. Drizzle oil on the sides. Once cooked on sides, flip them over to other side and fry evenly on both the sides. The dosa's taste better if crunchy and little bit charred. Serve hot as a side dish along with rice and curry of choice.


  1. I did not know that there were so many varieties of Sanna Pole. We get some drumstick palle here, but most of the time I don't know what to do with it. Glad to have found so many of the recipes.

  2. @ RC -
    Thanks. Drumstick leaves can be used to make Sanna Pole, simple Subzi with Chana Dal or Upkari with little jaggery. Its a very nutritious component.


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