Thursday, November 14, 2013

Moongachi Bhaaji


This is a delicious very Koli style curry made with whole moong. It difficult to say why it is soul satisfying, the protein or the masala. It is very quick to make as moong gets cooked fast in the pressure cooker.

A Koli home if not well stocked on green veggies will always be stocked with green moong for sure. But I hate it when most relatives cook it up for me just because I do not eat non veg. It's not about not affording to buy vegetables but pure laziness to even look in the bazaar for veggies and they expect me to sing their praises after the force fed meal. Yet I am polite, I always thank them for entertaining me.

However once in a while when I crave for my homely flavors and when I want to make something that will make a lipsmacking meal for Dad without too much effort then I go to this familiar taste.

Here is how to do it...

Ingredients

1 cup whole green moong
1 whole potato with skin on

Soak moong in hot water for 1/2 hr OR if cooking directly use water enough to cover the moong, about 1 inch above the moong level. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles or 30 mins. Cool completely and open the cooker. Mash some moong with the back of the spoon. Keep the potato aside.

The masala


1/4 cup grated fresh or frozen coconut
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon koli masala (buy it now)
1/2 inch piece ginger
4 cloves garlic
handful cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 green chili

Grind in fine paste in the chutney grinder. Keep
aside.


The Phodni 

2 teaspoons oil

Heat oil in a vessel. Add the ground masala and fry a bit for about 2 mins. Cut the potato into 4 long wedges and  add along with the cooked whole moong into the masala. Top up with water. Keep a thickish consistency. Boil well to remove the raw smell of masala. Put off heat and let it sit for atleast 15 mins before serving.



Serve with hot steamed rice.

Enjoy mixing it with your fingers and licking up!

In Thal food is mostly cooked at home and then at lunch time packed and taken to the fish drying area and the little account offices that are put up in the huts on these fields, where family slogging it from morning awaits. In the old days it used to be carried in small terracotta pots called handis or brass vessels, then put in a basket and carried on the head. I wanted to recreate that scene so I used large terracotta diyas which I had from the last years Diwali. Then came Diwali and I actually found a small pot much like a handi but still not a handi. I am still looking out for a handi that is used for cooking fish curry.

I also made a teeny bit of Moogache puran just to make Dad happy, for he loves to end all his meals with a little bit of sweet and as long as his health can afford it I will continue to indulge him.

With these pictures I can almost hear one of our Khapnarin (lady staff) calling out "Jevaan hanlay gharshi!" which meant lunch has been brought from home. Then some one would rush to help offload the basket which was carried on the head and put it on stable ground without spillage.

Then every thing would be removed from the basket and the basket would be overturned to cover the pots and a heavy something would be placed over the basket so that no cat or dog attacked the food before the family.

Then one by one everyone would wash their hands as they would be smelly with handling fish. If this was the exact menu, then the men would ask "Koncha upas hai?" LOL you see my Koli people cannot live without fish! and the day there is no fish in the meal it is Upas/ Upvas or fasting for them!


2 comments:

  1. Hi Anjali,
    My mouth is watering as I type. Looks so delicious!

    ReplyDelete

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