Lentils and Moringa Oleifera (Indian Drumsticks) Curry

October 25, 2011
Homemade Lentils and Drumsticks recipe.

lentils and drumsticks

Have you heard of Moringa Oleifera?
It is commonly known as the Indian drumstick and Malays (from Kedah) would call this, Kacang Munggai.

Moringa Oleifera has a lot of nutritional benefits to our body.
Moringa Oleifera will purify your water.
And that is why Moringa oleifera is called a Tree of Life!
In East Africa, it is called "Mothers' best friend

The benefits of Moringa Oleifera are endless.
Google 'Moringa Oleifera' and read about it.

I would like to add another one to that numerous list, with the story I am about to tell!

Do take note, this is a myth from old villagers passed down to generations.

As a young girl, I love to sit quietly and listen to adults talking and exchanging their hair-raising, supernatural, ghostly stories!
It scared the s**t out of me, nevertheless, I was drawn to their stories, just like a magnet.

lentils and drumsticks

One of the stories would be about 'Orang Minyak' (direct translation would be the Oily Man)!
A local movie was made, back in 1956 based on this story/myth.

I would refer to him as 'The Cursed Man', his body would be covered, in what the adult would say, thick black oil (hence the name).
Apparently, he wanted to learn about the spiritual world with malice intended.
He sold his soul to the devil.
In exchange for achieving his supernatural powers, he has to de-flower 40 young maidens (virgins) within a week.

Once the word was out that The Cursed Man was on the prowl, villagers would be on alert and wary of their surroundings.
Chaotic time!
Men would patrol the village perimeters, hoping to catch the culprit.
However, The Cursed Man managed to slip into the night unnoticed.

Mothers would try their best to protect their young girls' "innocence" by making the daughters wear their fathers' sweaty shirts at night, giving the impression that they were men instead of young girls.
During these terrifying moments, parents would be 'frantically' looking for Moringa Oleifera trees.
A foot-long Moringa Oleifera sticks were given to these young girls, and to be placed under their pillow at night.
The foot-long Moringa Oleifera stick has the same effect as garlic had on Dracula!The Cursed Man would stay away as he was afraid, very afraid.
One hit with the stick, his supernatural power would diminish and he'd immediately transformed into a powerless man.
Just imagine the worried look on my parents' faces, every time they hear the news that The Cursed Man is on the prowl again, for they have 4 daughters!

lentils and drumsticks<

I found frozen packets of Drumsticks in an Indian grocer... and decided to cook a simple dhal and serve it with roti.


  1. Salam aunty/kak? Lisa,

    The story of orang minyak scared me as a child! I think I even saw the movie once. Thanks for bringing back some old memories and thanks for sharing this wonderful looking lentil recipe!

  2. Oh my goodness... Those horror stories we used to grow up listening to in Malaysia are the WORST!! Makes all the "Western" ghosts sound like nothing especially when you have movies such as "Casper the friendly ghost" hahaha...

    But yeah, I'm not scared of ghosts in Aus, but in Malaysia I went through a very scared of ghosts phase. The stories back home are too real and confronting and there's so many of these to be afraid of, it's the worst. I don't want to go into details, but I've had encounter with a "pontianak" whether you believe it or not, I started praying so much after that I was so scared haha...

    ANYWAY, I really, really love dhal so thanks for the recipe! *chills* haha

  3. Hi Lisa,
    From what I know, those wearing 'susuk' can't eat this also..one of the pantangs apparently.

  4. Hi Lisa, you story remind me of those day when I was still young, staying near the kampong and the graveyard is just 500 meter away. Those makcik use to tell us the orang minyak story, it did give us goose bump. But me & the neighbors kids also very naughty, we use to play hide and seek at the graveyard never give second thought " what if the ghost appear" hahaha

    Anyway, your drumsticks dish looks extremely good and appetizing. yum yum. Have a nice day.

  5. Lovely food! I'd love to try those drumsticks...

    Happy Halloween!



  6. Food looks mouthwatering..I don't think I have ever seen Indian drumsticks...fascinating.

  7. Very interesting and tasty post! I'ev never seen the drumsticks nor heard of that horror story before!! :)

  8. Roti, lentils and drumsticks...what else to ask for:). As for spooky tales...my granny used to have a 'pantang' of us mentioning smelling frangipanis at night in case this attracts the hantus. Not so practical esp when there was a frangipani tree close to our house...

  9. Iva,
    I still remember the late P. Ramlee movie... watched few times over the years.
    Iva... just call me lisa :D

    Fuiyo... must 'mandi' air bunga to buang 'sueh' man... I'd be scared too.

    a-ha... I didn't know about 'susuk' and drumsticks

    Baker Street

    Wow... that must be something... to play hide and seek at the graveyard... You were fearless :P

    Happy Halloween to you too :D

    Doubt they grow in Europe... perhaps when you visit South East Asia... you may find some :D

    A-ha... Malaysia still has dimly lit or 'no electricity' villages, that create the spooky ambient ;P

    I heard that too... especially when we could smell the sweet smell of jasmine or frangipani at dusk :D

  10. I always love reading your posts, because I always learn something new :) I've always seen Moringa Oleifer around, but never knew they were called that! and i heard about the orang minyak story too hehehehe

  11. I think Asian ghost stories are somewhat scarier for some reason. Halloween can be scary but there are lots of cute stuff. But not in Asia... I love your recipe - looks so yummy. I want to dip the chapati in the sauce... YUM!

  12. Janine,
    awww.... thanks dearie :D

    I think so too... it must be from the stories we heard growing up... LOL blame the adults (at that time ;P)

  13. Ahh...is that what they usually put in dhal curries? I always thought they were ladies' fingers! I've never heard of this before though...

  14. I did not realize there is a ghost story related to the drumsticks. I managed to find some fresh ones from the Indian grocery store not too long ago and cooked them with shrimp. They were expensive but such a treat! Yours with dhal and roti looks delicious!

  15. I learn something new from this dish, I thought it was ladies fingers in it :) yes, definately yummy to go with roti!

  16. Only recently I know these are called drumsticks and now, I know the "technical name" for it - Moringa Oleifera! Thanks.

  17. To Food with love
    You are right... in the restaurants most likely ladies fingers are being used.

    LOL... that's the scary part living in a dark, not well lit kampongs, we get lots of ghost stories ;P

    Ah Tze

    we all learn something from each other... the wonderful world of cyber :D