The other day I went to get some okra, but the shop had run out, so I consoled myself by buying something else. These are drumsticks (aka moringa) and until I bought them the other day I’d never gone anywhere near one before! They are, as you can see, green and ridged and about a foot and a half long by half an inch or so in diameter. They look, in fact, like veggie drumsticks.

Having no idea how to prepare them, I scoured the internet and decided I knew roughly what I was doing. The general consensus seems to be that you should peel them a bit, but not too much, and then cook them pretty much like you would any other vegetable.

So, armed with the knowledge that I still had some of last night’s lasagne left if it all went horribly wrong, I had a go and made drumstick and cashew pilau. It is based loosely around a recipe I found somewhere (but can’t find again to link to) which I chose largely because it looked pretty straightforward and I had all the ingredients.

It ended up like this:

Drumstic and cashew pilau

Well I peeled it just the way it looks in the pictures, and cooked it just as long as it said in the recipe, and I kind of expected to be able to eat it. Imagine my surprise when it turns out that the skin, which is extremely fibrous, is also completely inedible!
NB According to The Hare Krsnas – I love them, by the way – the outer skin is meant to be inedible. I find out now. Ho hum.

So there we are, Ariel and I, picking out the pieces of drumstick, splitting them open with our hands, and scraping out the pulp from inside with our teeth, piling up discarded skins on the dinner table. Très élégantes, n’est-ce pas?

Verdict: It tastes pretty much exactly like a cross between a marrow and a runner bean. So yes, it was OK – and I will know roughly what to do with it if I have to prepare or eat one some other time. But next time, I think I’ll probably stick to vegetables that you can peel before you cook them!