Talk of comfort food for Malayalis from that part of Kerala I belong to - Rice and moru curry will top the list. It is quick and brings out the Malayalee'ness'( I am sure no word exists as such in us but I just found it cute). We generally call it moru curry and only recently did I realise that pulissery is also the very same.
A quick win for any lunch is making moru curry without any vegetables added. To bring out the dimensions, we do add cucumber, mango, pineapple or pumpkin. Similarly, you also have a choice of making it with the addition of coconut. The recipe I have put up is without coconut because we like it this way and generally most of the sadhya items do have coconut flavor, so why not keep it away from moru curry?
For the people who have not heard about this curry - it is nothing but tempered yogurt based curry.
So here is your recipe -
(serves - 6 on an average)
- Yogurt - 2 cups
- Water - 1 cup + addittional for cooking the vellarikka
- Vellarikka/ cucumber - 1/2 kg cubed
- Green Chilly - 3 slit
- Salt to taste
- Shallots - 3 tbsp chopped
- Red Chilly - 2 sliced in half
- Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds - 2 pinches
- Curry Leaf - 2 sprigs
- Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
- Coconut oil
Cook the cucumber/vellarikka and slit green chilly with water just enough to immerse the cucumbers. The cucumber turns slightly transparent once cooked. Ensure that very little of the water is left once it is cooked.
In a separate bowl, take the yogurt along with a cup of water and beat to combine well avoiding any lumps. Add the desired amount of salt at this stage.
Heat oil in a skillet and add the mustard seeds. Once it splutters, toss in the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Add the shallots, red chilly and cook till the shallots are done. Add in the turmeric powder and saute till the raw smell is no longer there. Reduce the heat and pour in the yogurt. Use a ladle to stir. Do not boil it - just stir for a minute or two on low flame and switch this off.
Pour this into the already cooked cucumber and heat it again on low flame for another 1 minute till combined. Adjust the salt at this stage.
Your pulissery/moru curry is ready to be served.
You may also note -
- Boiling the yogurt base will result in it curdling and may not be suitable for consumption.
- The trick to know if your moru curry is done - lift the empty ladle and see if there are vapors coming out of the ladle. If yes, switch off the flame immediately.
- If you are looking at making the curry without vellarikka - it is right on top in the third paragraph under Method.
Wishing you all a blessed Onam.