Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Kachiya Moru ~ The simple spiced up buttermilk curry from Kerala

Kachiya Moru

In Central Kerala, or at least in the town I grew up, Kachiya Moru, is the seasoned spiced up buttermilk curry, a regular comfort side dish paired up with fried fish. Some refer the same as 'Moru Curry', though a few claim 'Moru Curry' demands the addition of ground coconut with spices. Kachiya means boiled and Moru, butter milk.
There are versions wherein tomatoes, garlic and chilly powder are added along with the ingredients, but somehow I stick the version to the one I had always savoured while growing up; the natural sourness of the organic buttermilk pepped up dominantly with tiny bits of ginger and green chillies!

 I had drafted the whole post past weekend and trying to publish with a click away, now, I got into this problem. Surprisingly the whole post had been replaced with my previous published post. I tried hard to retrieve but failed! Sigh! Instead of crying over the spilt milk, I am here preparing the post all over again, as I go by.....

Kachiya Moru

Kachiya Moru
Serves a small family of 4
Total time needed - less than half an hour


1. Beaten yogurt / buttermilk- 2 cups / 500ml

2. Coconut oil- 1 tbsp
    Mustard seeds-
    Small Onions 3-4 minced fine
    Red chillies- 3 , broken into 3 pcs each
    Green chilles- 3 ,minced
    Cumin / Jeerakam-powdered - 1/2 tsp. I crushed them.
    Curry leaves -a sprig
    Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp

Kachiya Moru

Heat oil in a kadai. Splutter mustard and brown the fenugreek seeds. Stir in red chillies, onions and ginger. Sauté for a while and add the crushed cumin seeds or powder, green chillies and curry leaves. When the chillies and sautéed, add the turmeric powder and salt. Switch off the flame and stir in the beaten curd and combine. Now, switch on the flame to medium and heat the curry stirring continuously. This part is tricky. You are not supposed to let the curry boil as it may curdle the buttermilk. So just see to it, it gets heated up well and does not simmer. Shh..I myself am not a perfectionist here ;) Since you keep on stirring you may not be able to notice the point just before boiling but keep this clue, you will see the steam emanating from the curry. :).

Kachiya Moru

Goes well with steamed rice and mezhukkupuratti too :)

  • I use beaten curd. Buttermilk (diluted yogurt or curd) from my kitchen turns the curry watery. Hence I beat the curd and do not use water to dilute. The curry gets thinner as you serve.
  • The final stage of preparation should be handled with care.
  • Ashgourd is a common vegetable which can be used in this curry. I have already posted one with Ripe Kerala bananas here, which is slighly different from the above recipe, though the basics are the same. It's called Ethappazha (ripe bananas) Pulisseri (buttermilk curry).

                                        Thanks for the bowls, Jeyashri :)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Easy Stir-fried Capsicum

Easy Capsicum Stir-fry

I had the chance to savour this heart warming side dish in my sis-in-law's house. It was one of the humbly placed accompaniment, in a casserole, supposed to be a  'not-so-prompt' one among the lunch spread. When every one was enjoying the speciality meals of the day; vegetable biriyani, sambhar sadam, paruppu thuvayal sadam, raving about the array of rich as well as comfort food all laid on the table, the taste of this simple dish dominated my taste buds. It went perfectly well with the chapathis and all the varied rice meals!  Both Akka ( sis- in law) and her daughter-in-law were busy catering to our needs but as always, the curiosity heads and prompts me to find out the recipe!
 Gayathri, her pretty and homely daughter-in-law, narrated instantly how they made it, smilingly.

The mental note grasped by my recent 'not-so-efficient-n-highly-impatient-brain-cells' again prompt me loud and clear, Cummon , I can't hold it for long babe. Try soon, it's simple!
Succumbed to the instinct, I tried the  following week...

Easy Capsicum Stir-fry

Stir-fried Capsicum 
Serves two
Preparation time: 10 mins
Stove top time: 15-20 mins
Total time needed: less than 30 minutes

You need,
1 large green bell pepper / capsicum
One medium sized large onion
1/2 tsp sambhar powder
A fat pinch of turmeric powder
Salt - 1/4 tsp or to taste

To season,
2 tsps oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds and urad dal each
A sprig of Curry leaves

Easy Capsicum Stir-fry

Wash bell pepper and peeled big onion. Halve the pepper, de-seed and cut into 1 cm cubes. Chop onions.

Easy Capsicum Stir-fry

Heat oil in a non-stick kadai. Splutter mustard seeds, brown the urad dal and throw in the curry leaves. Add the bell pepper bits and sauté along for a few minutes, say for 4-5 minutes .  You may sprinkle very little water after a while only if needed to get them cooked. But see to it it retains the crunchiness. (Mine wasn't quite fresh, so I had to.) Now, stir along the chopped onions. Add salt and turmeric and sambhar powders. [I have used my own recipe of sambhar powder which contains no turmeric. If your version has already the turmeric powder in it, avoid using it again.]
 Remember, do not close the pan at any point while making this dish. Stir to combine. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, until the pieces are shrunk, cooked ( not soft but still, a little crunchy) and the spices seeped in.
Remove from fire and serve hot with steamed rice or Indian breads.

Easy Capsicum Stir-fry

I had them with warm phulkas.