Sunday, June 30, 2013

Simple Palakkad Iyer Meal - Molagutal rice and yogurt rice with mathan(pumpkin) puli pachadi

The meal with yogurt rice, molagutal rice and pachadi on the side
Below- molagutal, ground paste, pumpkin puli pachadi
Mixed vegetable Molagutal
Pumpkin (with green edible skin preferred) to yield 2 cups when cut
2-3 Raw green bananas
2-3 small potatoes
2-3 carrots
A handful of cauliflower florets
1 and half cup Mung Dal(skinned and halfed mung bean)
2-3 sprigs of Curry leaves
Turmeric powder and salt to taste
To grind
One cup grated coconut
1 table spoon Cumin seeds ,
4-6 whole red chillies
To season
1 tbsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp udid dal, 1 red chilli

  1. Cube the vegetables, raw banana skin must be pared like you would the potatoes.. If pumpkin skin is thin and edible you can keep the skin on.
  2. Wash the mung dal well and add to a large deep pan or vessel add 2 cups of water, a pinch of turmeric. Bring water to boil, lower the heat and allow to half cook for a few mins
  3. Add the cut vegetables.. first banana and potato, then the pumpkin ladt the carrots and cauliflower, stir well..  
  4. Add 3-4 cups of water enough to cover the vegetable, Add the curry leaves and salt to taste.  
  5. Cover and cook, the mung dal should be well cooked and soft and mushy.
  6. Add the coarsely ground paste as shown in the picture and bring to a full boil
  7. Allow it to boil on a medium flame for 5 mins.
  8. To season/tadka.  Add oil and seasoning ingredients to a small pan, cover and heat on meduim flame until the mustard seeds splutter and the dal is brown, add to the molagutal as shown.
  9. Stir well and enjoy with steamed rice.
Mathan puli pachadi
A wedge of pumpkin, thinly sliced should yeild 2 cups
1 tbsp tamarind paste or pulp diluted in 2 cups of water
A small piece of jaggery, gur or a 1/4 tsp sugar
For grinding
1/4 cup grated coconut, 3-4 spicy thai green chillies, one pinch mustard seeds or flakes
For seasoning
1 tsp oil, 1/2 tsp mustard, 1/4 tsp methi(fenugreek seeds), 1 red chilli

  1. Add tamarind, pumpkin, turmeric and salt to a wok, cover and cook until the vegetable is soft and well cooked.  You can substitute pumpkin with okra(vendakai/bhindi) or egg-plant(katrikai/baingan/brinjal)
  2. Add the ground paste, the mustard is very inportant, it adds flavor, bring to a rolling boil and cook for a couple of minutes.
  3. Season/tadka with oil, mustard, methi seeds and red chilli.
  4. It tastes good when mixed with rice, too.
The above meal is my dysfunctional style of cooking traditional recipes learnt from mom.  A yogurt based raita or pachadi also goes well with molagutal. 

Variations or additions to molagutal - You can also add winter melon, zucchini, snake gourd, or bottle gourd to the molagutal.

Cabbage molagutal is very similar, use same ingredients for grinding and seasoning.  
half cook the mung dal and add finely chopped cabbage, cook well, add ground paste, boil well, season.  It goes well with chappatis or rice.

Spinach or keerai molagutal is slightly different.  Cut and cook the spinach with turmeric and salt. Add pre-cooked tur dal and bring to a rolling boil.  Lightly roast Chana dal, udid dal and two red chillies in a drop of oil to grind with the grated coconut and jeera.  season as above.

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