I grew up in a typical Pattar household, and that means that dishes from the Palakkad region of Kerala were the norm for me. Palakkad food is essentially Keralite food with a heavy Tamilian influence (since it is close to the border with TN, and also owning to the large number of Iyers and Iyengars who have made this region their home since ancient times) This is where my ancestral roots lie, and for some reason I had subconsciously always left the arena of cooking the dishes with origins here, well alone...after all I stood no chance against master chefs like my mom, dad, sisters, their mother in laws, our many other relatives, etc.
However, being located on a different continent from all these wonderful people (and hence far away from having any chance to sample their culinary skills regularly) does make me a bit homesick (or rather homefood-sick) sometimes.
So have started dabbling with attempts at recreating some of our traditional dishes like moru kootan, sambar, raw banana, beans or karela dishes cooked as authentically as I could recall from my mom's kitchen. Knowning me, its needless to say though that many of these attempts will end up in the creation of some totally new fusion recipes. Here I present one such recipe.
Guess I got a bit carried away with my first South Indian dish post. So, please forgive the long boring preface. Without further ado, let's start with the dish,... with my customizations :-).
Molagushyam is basically a simple Keralite curry made with cooked lentils and some boiled veggies. It is very healthy and has a distinct taste. The amount of spices used here is very little, and hence you get the natural taste of veggies, which goes awesomely well with rice, and a spicy masaledaar chutney. Here, I have prepared it with broccoli
instead of more traditional veggies like ash melon
, pumpkin, ground spinach, etc.
Serves: 3 - 4 Adults
Serve with steamed rice and spicy achar (or chutney).
Preparation time: Approx 15 minutes
- Tur dal or chana dal
- Broccoli florets (the stem can be used too)
- 1 small potato
- 1/8 cup peas (optional)
- Oil (coconut oil, if you want a more authentic taste)
For wet grinding:
- Tur dal or Chana dal
- Grated / dessicated coconut
- Whole black pepper (optional)
- Red chillies (optional)
- Peanuts (optional)
- Mustard seeds
- Green chillies (or Jalapenos, if you want a stronger flavour. Use these only if red chillies / black pepper have not been used for wet grinding, as this dish is not supposed to be too spicy.)
That's it. healthy and delicious molagushyam is ready to be served.
- Veggies and Lentils:
- Cut the broccoli stem and peeled potato into small cubes.
- Boil or pressure cook these cubed veggies with tur (or chana dal).
- This will take around 5-10 minutes. Continue with the next step while this is cooking.
- Wet ground masala:
- Roast some tur dal (or chana dal) on a frying pan till the colour starts changing slightly, and keep aside for cooling. This should take less than a minute.
- Roast a few peanuts, red chillies, or black pepper flakes for a few seconds and keep aside for cooling. This should take less than a minute.
- Add some grated coconut, the roasted lentils, spices, and some water to a grind, and wet grind for some 30-45 seconds till a coarse but even mixture is ready.
- Add the wet ground masala from step (2) to the (boiling) veggies and lentils from step (1). Add the frozen peas and broccoli florets, salt to taste and some water to this mixture.
- Stir the mixture so that all the ingredients blend well. Bring it to a boil (on medium heat).
- Tadka / seasoning:
- On a frying pan, heat some oil and splutter mustard seeds.
- Add the curry leaves and chillies and fry for a few seconds.
- Add this tadka to the boiling molagushyam..
P.S.: Have tried putting in some tidbits of background information along with the recipes here. Please let me know if you find this approach tolerable, or would prefer the simple recipe style that I have used for my previous posts :-).