Thursday, August 02, 2007
Recipe: Thayir Molagai
There are many kinds of peppers. In India though, only black pepper is known as pepper and all others are known as chillies and bell peppers as capsicum.
Green chillies are widely used in everyday cooking and also pickling. I wish I could get photographs of all the different green chilies available. We have gundu molagais (the big ones), the byadagi (the long and less pungent ones), the Bhavnagar variety (so non-pungent you need to add some chilly powder to it) and the famous oosimolagai (the thin and short variety, which is the most pungent. So much so, some people were even called “oosimolagai” for their pungent words).
I shall give the recipe of Thayir Molagai, green chilies marinated in curds and dried, which is an all time favorite. Curds Rice garnished with fried thayir molagai tastes heavenly. Thayir molagai can also be used to garnish other rice preparations like lemon rice, coconut rice, etc. This adds a special taste to the rice.
Though dried thayir molagais are available in the shops these days, they are not marinated in curds for long enough and lack the original taste, I am told. I always prepare my thayir molagais during the summer. It is a messy, tedious and time consuming process though the end result is worth the trouble.
For thayir molagais, the less pungent variety of gundu molagai or big green chilies is used. Before buying the green chilies one should make sure to have thick sour curds to marinate the chilies.
Green Chillies: 1 kg.
Thick sour curds: 1 to 11/2 lts.
Wash and dry the green chillies. Make a slit up to halfway from the tip (keep the stalks intact), or pierce a hole in the centre of the chilies with a skewer. Dry in the sun for a day. Meanwhile, beat the curds to a smooth consistency and add the salt. Marinate the sun dried chilies in this curd. The chillies should be completely immersed in the curds. If not, pour some more. Allow the chillies to marinate for one full day. After that, drain the chillies from the curds and sun dry them. Put the dried chillies back into the left over curds in the evening. Repeat the process until all the curds has been absorbed. Dry the chillies for few more days in the sun, until they become crisp.
These sun dried chillies can be stored in air tight containers for up to 2 years.
Heat oil to smoking point, reduce heat and fry the chillies well to a nice black color.
ENJOY with your curd rice.
Tip: When the chilies are dry, the absorbed curds will flake off as a white powder residue. Use this curds residue as chilly flavour while preparing dals. It gives a delicious taste.
Along with my recipe for Stuffed Capsicum this is my entry for JFI August.