My 84th recipe, “Mochakottai Kuzhambu (Gravy)”, a very healthy South Indian Kuzhambu. Perfect to have along with steamed white rice or as a side for idli/dosa.
Wondering what Mochakottai is? Mochakottai, also known just as Mochai, is a high protein rich dry bean extensively used in South Indian cuisine. And, when I wanted to post this recipe with mochai, I went on a google mission to find out the English name for Mochakottai.
But the mission was a failure. Looks like Mochakottai is a dry bean which is very native to the Indian region. However there are other beans which are close relatives of this bean like the broad beans, baby lima beans, fava beans, etc. Hence you can replace mochakottai with any other dry bean which you can get your hands on. However I would strongly recommend using the mochakottai since there is no match for their taste.
My mom generally makes mochakottai kuzhambu atleast once in 2 weeks. She says that mochakottai is high in protein and other nutrients and helps in maintaining a healthy and shiny skin. This is a modified version of the kuzhambu my mom used to make.
With the addition of coconut and other ingredients, it tastes even better, and just like how I like it. It would be the perfect pair with a bowl of steamed rice, idli or dosa. And the taste would be even better when you have it for the second day, when the flavors get a chance to mix well.
Mochakottai, aka Mochai, is a high protein dry bean extensively used in Indian cuisine. Learn to make an authentic South Indian mochakottai kuzhambu .
- Dry Mochai - 3/4 Cup - 3/4
- Red Shallots | Red pearl onions | Small onions - 8
- Tomato - 1/2 large (Chopped)
- Brinjal - 3 (Chopped lengthwise)
- Drumstick - 1 (Chopped into 2 inch sticks)
- Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
- Sambar powder - 1 1/2 tsp
- Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
- Salt - 1 tsp (adjust per taste)
- Tamarind - Medium gooseberry size
- Coriander leaves - For garnishing
- Oil - 1/4 tsp
- Red Shallots | Red pearl onions | Small onions - 10
- Tomato - 1/2 large (Chopped)
- Green Chilli - 1 small
- Garlic - 4 cloves
- Coconut - 1/3 Cup (Chopped)
- Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
- Oil - 2 tsp
- Mustard - 1/4 tsp
- Broken urad dal - 1/2 tsp
- Jeera - 1/2 tsp
- Curry leaves - 1 sprig
- Garlic - 3 cloves (sliced)
- First wash and soak the mochai overnight. Then pressure cook them along with a pinch of salt and asafoetida by adding about a cup of water for 4 whistles or until soft. Keep aside.
- Soak the tamarind and extract half a cup of tamarind juice by adding required water. Keep aside.
- Heat a pan with 1/4 tsp of oil and add all the ingredients given under "To grind", except coconut and fennel seeds. Saute for 2-3 mins until the onions start becoming translucent. Transfer them to the plate, let them cool down to room temperature and then grind them in a mixie along with coconut and fennel seeds to a fine paste. Keep aside.
- Now heat a pan with oil, add the mustard and once the mustard splutters, add the other ingredients listed under "To temper" in the given order. once the broken urad dal starts turning golden brown, add the curry leaves, garlic, small onion and saute until the onion turns translucent.
- Now add the tomato, brinjal, drumstick and saute for 2 minutes. Add a cup of water and give a quick mix. Now add all the powders (turmeric, sambar, asafoetida, and salt) and give a quick stir.
- Add the prepared ground paste along with a cup of water and give a stir. Let the kuzhambu come to a boil. Once it starts to boil turn the flame to low-medium and let the gravy keep cooking until the veggies are 3/4 done.
- Now add the tamarind extract and continue cooking until the raw smell of tamarind is gone and veggies are almost done. Now add the cooked mochai (along with the water used while cooking them) into the gravy and cook until the desired consistency is reached. Turn off the flame.
Enjoy hot with rice/idli/dosa or chappati.
- Instead of soaking the mochakottai overnight, you can even dry roast the mochai until they start changing to golden brown and then pressure cook.
- Adjust the tamarind extract and tomato quantity accordingly based on the size and tartness of your tomatoes.
- Immediately after adding the ground paste, the kuzhambu will start to thicken up. Also, it will thicken slightly after cooling. So adjust the water quantity as per your desire.
- Adding the tamarind extract before the veggies are cooked, will delay the cooking process. So always add the tamarind extract once the veggies are half done. In case of making plain mochai kuzhambu without any veggies, add them along with the powders at the starting stage. cook until the raw smell of tamarind and the masala powders are gone.
Submitted this recipe to Remmy’s Kitchen First blog anniversary celebration and giveaway.