Archive for the ‘Morekozhambu’ Category

Crispy Parupusili and a tangy Morekozhambu- Classic Combo from Amma

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

There are things that sometimes you wish you can do better…Take cooking as an example, especially if you are making one of mom’s specialities. My mom was here last year to take care of lil R and me, and N just became a fan of amma’s cooking from her thick morekozhambus to authentic pulikaichai(tamarind rice mix) to picture perfect kai murukkus. So these days when I make the classic combination of parupusili and morekozhambu, he gives me a look which translates to “why does this taste so different”?

It is quite tough to get one full recipe out of amma, she has lots of tricks- say “It needs oil, It will take time to cook, You girls(me and my sis) cook better than how I used to cook etc etc.” I thought this was the case with just my mom but my cousin PR who was visiting us said the same about her mom and her specific recipes. She proudly told me that when she went home for vacations she just got hold of her mom and ordered her to instruct step by step while PR made it..Good point you see, now mom’s cant escape :) Since amma is in India now the only thing I could do was to literally beg her for her secret recipe over the phone.

Straight to the recipe then!

For the Parupusili: (Serves 3-4)
Ingredients:
Chana dal- 3/4 cup
Toor dal 1/2 cup
Red chilies 2-3 (depending on how spicy you want it to be)
Grated coconut- 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder-1/8 tsp
Oil- a very generous 3-4 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- few
Asafoetida- 1 pinch
Vegetable of your choice: Beans or Cluster beans(guwar) or cabbage or plantain flower or spinach- I used cluster beans- about a cup.

Method:

Wash and soak both dals in water for atleast 30 minutes. Drain the water completely and then blend them to a coarse powdery paste(!!) in a blender along with red chilies, salt and coconut.

Chop the beans(fine chopping is not required).

In a greased idli plate, place the chopped beans and the ground dal paste. Just like idlis let it cook in steam for 10 minutes. Let it cool down.

Then, take the steamed dal paste from the steamer/cooker and just pulse it once or twice in the blender. This is so that the lumpy dal gets broken down into fine particles making the stir fry crispy.

Let the steamed beans be as it is.

Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, when it splutters add curry leaves and asafoetida. Now add the powdered cooked dal and stir fry on a medium low flame for a good 7-10 minutes till it gets light golden brown in color.

Then add the steamed beans and stir fry it on a low flame for another 5-7 minutes adding salt(check and add salt if needed) and turmeric powder. Do not add water to cook the beans. To skip that step we already steamed it in the cooker!

Keep mixing the beans and the dal powder for another minute or two- now it looks like the typical parupusili right? 😉 Switch off. But do not cover the pan- if you have a netted lid use it or else the water from the lid will drip and make the parupusili soggy!

Just re-heat it on low flame again before serving to retain the crispness of the dal and vegetables.

The perfect combo for this is Morekozhambu. I made pumpkin morekozhambu to go with it, if you see the kerala type morekozhambus(or kootans as they call it), it just uses lots of coconut, chilies and jeera. The Tamilnadu style morekozhambu needs some dal to give it the thickness and the taste.

Pumpkin Morekozhambu:(Serves 3-4)

Ingredients:

White Pumpkin(Winter Melon)- about 1/4 cup- cubed
Salt- to taste(about 3/4 tsp)
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Water- 1/2 cup
Well whisked yogurt- 1/2 cup
For tempering:
Oil- 1 tbsp
mustard seeds and Jeera(cumin seeds)- 1/4 tsp each
Curry leaves-few
Hing- A generous pinch

Soak and grind to a thick paste:
Chana dal- 1/4 cup
Toor dal- 1/4 cup
Jeera- 1 tbsp
Green chilies(or red)- 2-3
Ginger- 1″piece
Coriander seeds- 1 tbsp
Coconut- 1/4 cup
Peppercorns- less than 1/4 tsp (Use only if you need more spice other than chilies).

Method:

Soak the ingredients given to grind for 15 mins (minimum) and grind all the ingredients given in list 3 to a thick and smooth paste.

Whisk the water, yogurt, salt, turmeric powder and the ground paste together(without lumps). Heat oil in a pan and mustard seeds, when it splutters add jeera, when it sizzles add curry leaves and Hing.

Add the cubed pumpkins and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the flame and carefully pour the yogurt mixture into the pan. Do not let it boil, but simmer on low flame till you can see bubbles. Switch off(the more it cooks, the yogurt mixture will curdle).

Serve morekozhambu with parupusili, hot steaming rice, ghee and some papad. Heaven on a plate :)

Other combinations that I learnt from amma is ennai katrikkai curry, that is another awesome combo for morekozhambu. You can also make plantain podimas, aloo curry with coconut, achari aloo or stuffed whole okra stir fry to go with morekozhambu.

Since both these dishes are made with lentils, I am sending them off to Susan’s MLLA, edition 45 is hosted this month by Girlichef.

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Mango Morekuzambu (Mango in Yogurt-Coconut Sauce)

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

During weekdays, half the time, unless there is the urge to cook variety rice(which we make on the weekends),or to try something new, the menu is almost set for lunch. There are quite a lot of varieties to choose to go with rice. Regulars for the show are  Sambar, Rasam, Vathakozhambu, or hubbys favorite Milagootal.

Once in a while, when the home made yogurt is not used up and is slightly sour, I make the fastest side dish for rice – a sauce that can be completed in 15 mins flat, Morekozhambu!!  In the language Tamil, More- means yogurt and kuzhambu means sauce. In Kerala, this is called as Mango Kootan.

Since hubby is from Palagat(but grew up in Karnataka) and Im from Tamilnadu,  I have seen variations in cuisines, even in the simple dishes like morekozhambu. Back in Tamilnadu if I have to make morekozhambu I soak coriander seeds, dal, coconut and other ingredients in water and grind to add to the sauce. But in Palagat way of making morekozhambu it is plain coconut sauce. The taste is different too, considering that is a simple coconut yogurt sauce. Either way, it is finger licking good and the you would want to make more of this morekozhambu :)

Ingredients (Serves-2)

Ripe Mango- one small fruit

Well whisked yogurt- 2 cups

Water- 1/2 cup

Salt- to taste

Turmeric Powder- 1/2 tsp

To grind:

Coconut- 1/4 cup

Green Chilies- 4

Cumin seeds- 1 tsp

To Temper:

Oil- 1 tsp

Cumin seeds- 1 tsp

Curry leaves- 4

Asafoetida- 1 pinch

Red chili- 1

Method:

Peel the skin of the mango and dice the mango in to 1″ cubes. Boil the mango cubes with water in a pan, adding salt and turmeric powder. Boil for 10 minutes or till mango cubes are tender and can be mashed.

Grind coconut, green chiles and cumin seeds to a fine powder and then add water(about 4 tbsp) and grind it to a fine paste. Add this paste to the bowl of whisked yogurt. Whisk again to avoid lumps.

Pour this yogurt mix into the pot with mango. Simmer for 2-3 minutes only (till you can see slight bubbles). Never boil a sauce with coconut as it will impact the taste and flavor. Switch off.

Heat oil in a separate pan and add asafoedtida. When it sizzles, add cumin seeds, curry leaves and broken red chili. Stir for a minute. Pour this over the morekozhambu. If the sauce is thin and you want to thicken it, you can add a teaspoon of rice flour to the yogurt when mixing yogurt-paste to the mangoes.

Serve  the morekozhambu with any stir fried karis, appalams with rice or even with plain dal rice(paruppu sadam). The dal rice with a drop of ghee and morekozhambu is an amazing combination.

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