My mom was quite a good cook and my dad always had this story ( he was secretly very proud of her for this talent) that she would taste something either in someone else's home or at a restaurant and will be able to very accurately identify the ingredients that went into it. She was very rarely wrong or if so, off by maximum of an ingredient. She could replicate dishes at home quite easily and also innovate on them.
I always had an interest in cooking but it did not come to the fore till I got married. Then slowly, I started learning a few things from her and others. But the problem was that I only learnt those things that I personally loved as a kid. I totally forgot that tastes change over time and maybe what I loved then may not be quite what I love now.
Unfortunately, Mom is not in a position to really cook now and thanks to her accident, along with many other things, now has totally forgotten how to cook. From being a cook who could rustle up a meal for ten without any problem, she now struggles to remember simple recipes.
Now thinking back, I am glad that I learned the few recipes that I did from her. It is more special now to me.
My sincere advice to all you readers out there is that one needs to learn things that are important and unimportant quickly and never put it off for later. One never knows how things happen and it is sad that there are so many things that I would still have loved to learn from her, if only to make sure she gets to eat exactly what she likes.
Anyway enough of the morose talk...
She is very very fond of Majiga Pulusu aka More kozhambu, kadhi etc in defferent parts of the country. Majiga means butter milk and pulusu loosely translates into gravy(?). It is a combination of buttermilk, spices and vegetables thickened with the use of besan or chana dal ( Bengal Gram).
My dad's constant joke went that her pulusus always had more veggies than the gravy and therefore was wrongly referred to as pulusu. Well that is a healthy way of eating and I totally endorse it. More veggies, the better it is..
Now for the recipe...
1 tablespoon raw rice
1 Tablespoon Bengal gram
2 teaspoons grated coconut
1 teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
1 teaspoon Dhania (coriander seeds)
1 green chillie
1/2 litre sour curds
500 grams of potato, carrot and bottle gourd
2 Green chillies
2 sprigs coriander leaves
1/2 teapsoon Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon Oil
1/2 teaspoon mustrad seeds
1/2 teaspoon jeera
2 red chillies
Soak the rice, Bengal gram, coconut, green chillie coriander seeds and jeera in a little water for an hour. Then grind to a coarse paste.
Dice the vegetables into large pieces.
Pour enough water over it just so that it covers the vegetables.
Boil the vegetables along with the green chillies, coriander leaves, turmeric powder and salt.
Mix the curds and the ground paste and cook on a slow/medium flame till heated through and it begins to thicken. Do not let it boil.
Add the boiled vegetables.
Take off the flame.
Heat Oil and fry the popu ( mustard, jeera and red chillies).
Pour over the majiga pulusu.
Serve along with rice.