Murungai Ilai/Drumstick leaves/Moringa leaves Molagootal is what healthy and wholesome dreams are made up of. The leaves are separated from the stem and cooked in a little water, turmeric, and salt, a handful of cooked toor-dal is added followed by a mixture of coconut ground along with a little roasted urad dal and red chillies and the deal is sealed with a flourish of mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves tempered in coconut oil.

Molagootal is a healthy, wholesome and honest dish that is made up of vegetables, lentils and coconut. It’s typically made using spinach, cabbage, gourds along with other mixed vegetables such as potatoes, drumsticks carrots, beans and peas. Murungai Ilai takes the magic and healing powers of Molagootal up by a few notches.

Given that the dish is a mild one and in order to balance the flavors, a platter with Molagootal would typically include items that are sour and spicy, such as rasam or any kind of pulikachal (tamarind based condiment) or sometimes a spicy and tangy kothamalli thogayal (Corriander Chutney) or a yennai katrikkai (Roasted brinjals) or any such roasted vegetable would be a good match with Molagootal.

Check out the recipes for :-

  1. Keerai Molagootal
  2. Elavan Molagootal (Ash Gourd Stew)



  1. Murungai ilai (Moringa leaves) – 3 cups
  2. Toor Dal – 1/2 cup (uncooked)
  3. Salt – 1 tsp
  4. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  5. Water – 1/3 cup +3/4 cup + 1/4 cup


  1. Grated Coconut – 1 cup
  2. Urad dal – 2 tsps
  3. Red Chillies – 1


  1. Coconut oil – 1 tsp
  2. Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  4. Curry leaves – 1 few


  1. Wash and soak the dal for 30 mins. Pressure cook for 4 whistles or until done. (Note 1)
  2. Pick the Murungai ilai from the stem. (Note 2)
  3. Throw the leaves along with 1/3 cup water, salt, and turmeric powder in a heavy-bottomed pan. Put a lid on and cook on medium-low heat until cooked. You’ll know it’s done when it’ll shrink by half and the leaves have taken on a mossy hue. The leaves will still have a bite to them and so don’t overcook. Turn off the stove.
  4. Add the cooked toor dal and mix well.
  5. Heat 1/4 tsp coconut oil in a small pan. Roast the urad dal until it shades a dark shade of brown. Add the red chilli and roast for another 10 secs. Grind along with grated coconut and a little water into a smooth paste. I used about 3/4 cup of water. (Note 3)
  6. Tip the ground paste into the Murungai ilai and toor dal mixture. Mix well. Check for consistency. I added another 1/4 cup of water. Turn the heat on and bring it to a boil.
  7. Heat the remaining 1 tsp coconut oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the urad dal and roast until it turns a dark shade of brown. Throw in the curry leaves. Swirl and pour it over the Molagootal.
  8. Serve hot with rice.


  1. It is not mandatory to soak the toor dal. I always soak to avoid pressure cooking for too long.
  2. I’ve used 3 cups of Murungai ilai/Drumstick leaves here but you could use as much or as little as you prefer.
  3. I’ve used only 1 red chilli here since I like it mild, but you could use more.
  4. I’ve used about 1.5 cups of water to make the dish. You could adjust the quantity of water to suit your desired consistency. This Molagootal is thick but fluid.

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