Drumstic Flower/ Sehjan/ Swanjhane Ke Phool Ki Sabji


This dish is unique in taste and texture as prepared with drumstick flowers and buds. These flowers are available in the winter season and for only one month. This is not so commonly cooked in most of the households. The reason may be its preparation is a little bit task and time taking. This dish has been popular with the Punjabi families who came from undivided Punjab. We have grown up savouring this extraordinary sabzi during winters.  There are also a few more variations in south India. They make stir-fries of it by adding eggs or any other seasonal veggies. In West Bengal also, these drumstick flowers are prepared to add other veggies.

Drumstick /Sahjan /Swanjhane Flower Sabji

The sehjan or drumstick tree is a wonderful one and most of its parts have medicinal values. Its leaves, flowers and drumsticks are edible and used in one or the other dishes….. Though these flowers and buds are bitter in taste but boiling twice or thrice with salt and turmeric powder make their taste neutral. This dish goes very well with peas as they make a perfect pairing and add flavour to it.

Preparation time – 40 minutes
Cooking time – 20 minutes
Ready in – 60 minutes
Servings – 4
Cuisine – Punjabi
Author – Bharti Dhawan

1- Drumstick flowers and buds – 250 gms
2- Peas or peeled matar – 200 gms
3- Ghee – 2 tbsp
4- Salt for sabzi – as per taste + 2 tbsp while boiling the flowers
5- Turmeric powder for sabzi – 1 Tsp + 2 tsp while boiling the flowers
6- Red chilly powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder – 1 Tsp each
7- Finely chopped onions – 1 big sized
8- Finely chopped tomatoes – 1 big sized
9- Finely chopped ginger and green chillies – 1 Tsp each
10- Water – as required (approximately 3 lt for 2-3 boils)

Preparation Steps -:

* Take unwanted stems and other stuff out of drumstick flowers.
* In a big saucepan add approx.1 and a half lt of water to boil. Add 1 tbsp of salt and 1 Tsp of turmeric powder. Add washed drumstick flowers and let them boil at high flame for 15 minutes
* Switch off the gas and drain water through a colander. Now rinse them under running water so that it’s bitterness is washed out.

* Next, take a handful of them each time and squeeze well to make a ball shape

* Once again take the same quantity of water, salt and turmeric powder and squeezed flowers and keep them for boiling.

* Repeat the same process once again and keep the squeezed flowers aside to start making sabzi. (You should check by eating a little quantity. If there is still bitterness one more boil should be given to the flowers)
1- Boil peas in 1 cup of water and keep aside. Also, keep the water after boiling as it will be used later for the dish

2- Heat ghee in a kadhai and add chopped ginger and green chillies.
Stir them for 2 minutes and add chopped onions. Stir them until golden.
3- Add chopped tomatoes and stir. Now add salt and powdered spices and add chopped tomatoes and stir. Add little water and cover with a lid until the masala is cooked and leaves the ghee.
4- Time to add boiled and squeezed drumstick flowers and stir well to mix everything together.
5-  Now add boiled peas and stir. Add the water which was kept after boiling the peas

6-  Cook this dish covered for 2 minutes to finish


7-    Tasty drumstick flowers/sehjan or swanjhne ki sabzi is ready to serve with roti or parantha