Friday, May 23, 2008

Mor Kootu/Curry (Yogurt Curry With Vegetables And Coconut )

If you have yogurt sitting around with no place to go, make Mor Kootu/Curry, a classic South Indian dish. It is a thick stew traditionally made with spinach, heart of banana (vazhai thandu), or cucumbers and is named the particular vegetable mor kootu - for example, if it is made with spinach, it is spinach mor kootu. Other good choices of vegetables are: green cabbage, any type of summer squash like zucchini, (or gourds like tori and lauki) cauliflower and green beans. Try a single veggie or a combination or even none; as you wish.

Frozen grated coconut is available in Indian or Mexican markets.

I had one each of golden and green zucchini, and a one lonely Persian cucumber - all combined to make today's Mor Kootu/Curry; delicious!

Ingredients:

1 each green and golden zucchini (or use 2 of one kind)
1 medium cucumber, peeled
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 cup fresh or frozen grated coconut
2 Serrano or Jalapeno Chilies
1 Tbsp Whole Cumin Seeds
1 tsp uncooked rice
3 cups Sour Yogurt
Salt to taste

Thalippu/Tadka:

1 Tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Whole Fenugreek Seeds
2 Dry Red Chilies
1 sprig Fresh Curry Leaves

Method:

Wash well the zucchinis and cucumbers. Peel the cucumber. Cut off the ends and chop all the veggies into small pieces about the size of a corn kernel or as you wish. Cook the vegetables in a 3 qt/liter pan with 1/2 cup water, the salt and turmeric until tender.

While the veggies are cooking, place the coconut, cumin seeds, green chilies, rice and 1 cup of the yogurt into a blender container and grind into a smooth puree. Pour into the cooked veggies and continue cooking.

Pour the remaining yogurt into the blender container, pulse a couple of times and pour into the cooking veggies.

Once the yogurt is added, watch carefully so the curry does not boil. As soon as the curry foams and begins to just rise up, remove from the heat.


Prepare thalippu: Heat the oil in a small pan, add the seeds and chili. When mustard pops, add the curry leaves quickly and carefully and cover to avoid hot oil splashing. Pour the whole thing into the curry, cover, and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve hot, warm or at room temperature over rice, with dosa, upma, chapatis, etc.

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