Maanga and Vendakkai Mor Kozhambu ( Raw mango & Okra yoghurt curry)

This particular dish holds a lot of fond childhood memories for me, and is a beautiful reminder of our summer holiday in our great grandmum’s place in Tirunelveli. I do not remember a lot of dishes that were made by her except this one, which stood out for me. The maanga (raw mango) mor kozhambu she made for was a Nagercoil-style version, with small whole raw mangoes from the backyard in the curry.

Unfortunately, my great grandmum is no more, and her recipe was never passed on; it went with her. So, I decided to try my hand at making a Nagercoil-style mor kozhambu with inputs from family and friends from the town, and came up with this.

Combining two sour elements – yoghurt and raw mango may seem overpowering but surprisingly, the dish works well. Thanks to the addition of okra, coconut and other ingredients that balance the flavours well.

Here’s to fond childhood memories. 🙂

Ingredients

  • Raw mango – 1 (cut into small cubes)
  • Okra/ lady’s finger/ vendakkai – 4, ends trimmed and chopped into medium-size pieces
  • Sour yoghurt – 1 ¼ cup
  • Water – 2 cups (To thin down the yoghurt) + 3/4 of a cup to cook the mango
  • Turmeric – ¼ tspn
  • Raw rice – 4 tspns
  • Grated coconut – 5 heaped tblspns
  • Green chillies – 5 (increase or decrease number to suit your taste)
  • Red chillies – 1
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tspn
  • Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tspn
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Asafoetida – 1 pinch
  • Oil – 1 tblspn
  • Salt – To taste

Directions

Perp:

  1. Whisk the yoghurt smooth. Add water and turmeric powder, and churn it till the ingredients are combined well to make buttermilk out of it Add more water, if you want the mor kozhambu dilute.
  2. Soak the raw rice for about 7-10 minutes.
  3. Bring ¾ of a cup of water to a boil. Add the raw mango pieces, and let it simmer for about 3 minutes till the mango becomes tender. Once done, drain the water and keep the cooked mango aside.

Method:

  1. Drain water from the soaking rice.
  2. Place the rice in a blending jar along with grated coconut, green chillies and red chilli.
  3. Add about a tablespoon or two of water and grind the mixture to a smooth paste.
  4. Mix this paste with the buttermilk. Keep aside.
  5. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot.
  6. Add the mustard seeds, let it splutter.
  7. Add the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.
  8. Allow the fenugreek seeds to brown a little. Add the asafoetida and sauté for a few seconds.
  9. Add the okra and sauté for about 2 minutes or till it is cooked.
  10. Toss in the cooked mango pieces, and allow it to cook for about a minute.
  11. Finally pour the buttermilk mixed with the ground paste into the pot with the sautéed vegetables.
  12. Turn the flame to medium-low.
  13. Add salt and stir the mor kozhambu.
  14. Keep stirring the curry to prevent the yoghurt from splitting.
  15. Bring it to a boil and turn the stove off.
  16. Serve it with hot, steamed rice.

Tips:

  1. Use gourds, cucumber, pumpkin, drumsticks in place of okra.
  2. You could also use small, whole mangoes in the place of the chopped ones.

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