Sunday 29 June 2014

Milagu More Charu (மிளகு மோர் சாறு)

Traditionally, home cooking had a balanced approach to diet. Lentils, vegetables and spices were incorporated in a manner to ensure a fine balance of different nutrients in the diet. Hence, there were days when tamarind based sambar or kuzhambu was prepared, while there were other days when tamarind was not used in the cooking at all. My grand mother used to say that this was done to avoid acidity! Similarly, she would prepare pepper based kuzhambu in between to avoid the use of red chillies. This is one such traditional recipe of pepper based more kuzhambu! 

Ingredients: (Serves four) 
Curds – 2 tumblers or 400ml measure
Vegetables cut into large pieces – ¾ of a tumbler or 150ml measure*
Oil – 2 teaspoons
Milagu More Charu (மிளகு மோர் சாறு)
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Curry leaves – a few

To be ground into a paste:
Urad dhal – 2 teaspoons
Toor dhal – 2 teaspoons
Coconut – grated, 2 tablespoon
Methi seeds – ¼ teaspoon
Peppercorns – 1 teaspoon

* Ash gourd (white pumpkin), chow-chow, brinjal and ladies finger may be used. Cut ash gourd and chow-chow into large cubes. Brinjal and ladies finger may be cut into long pieces.

Milagu More Charu (மிளகு மோர் சாறு)
Method: Heat little oil in a kadai, add urad dhal, toor dhal, methi seeds and peppercorns till the dhal turns golden brown in color. Switch off the fire. Once cool, grind the fried ingredients with coconut and required water into a fine paste. Beat curds well with a hand blender with one tumbler (200 ml) of water. Add the ground paste and mix well.

Heat the remaining oil in the kadai, add mustard seeds, when they start to sputter add the cut vegetables. Cover and cook vegetables with little water and required salt on low flame till the vegetables are done. Now add the curd mixture to the kadai and cook on low heat, stirring every now and then, till the kuzhambu froths. Switch off the fire. Garnish with curry leaves. Serve hot with rice and porial/ appalam/vadam.

Note: Keep the flame low throughout the preparation, as the curds will split if cooked on high heat. 

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