More kali aka more koozhu – that delicious confection consisting of curd chillies, curd, curry leaves and rice/wheat flour – is one of my favourite things to eat, especially if it has a brownish, slight crust that comes from adding a whole lot of oil. I never learnt how to make this traditional South Indian delicacy in spite of liking it so much, till yesterday – I always thought it was something way too difficult to make.
Yesterday, things changed. Yesterday, I made my first ever wheat flour more kali, under Amma’s expert tutelage. It turned out wonderful, just the right amount of sour, just the way I like it. It was a breeze to make, too. I made it with lesser oil than Amma likes to put in her more kali, much to her disapproval. :P
This more kali has opened the door to many more more kalis, in the times to come.
I know the picture isn’t very appealing – the more kali looks like a shapeless heap of something white. But then, that is expected. We are talking about a sort of flour and buttermilk mixture, after all, and I am still a learner photographer. All I can say at this point is that you will seriously be missing something if you let the looks of the plate deter you from trying it out. 🙂
Here’s how we made the more kali.
Ingredients (serves 2):
- 1 medium-sized glass wheat flour (ground in a mill)
- Salt, to taste
- 1-1/2 medium-sized glasses sour curd or to taste – taste the batter and add sour curd till you feel it is sour enough
- 1-1/2 medium-sized glasses water or as needed to make a batter that is not too runny
- 1 green chilly, stem removed and cut into 3-4 pieces
- 6-8 fresh curry leaves
- 4 medium-sized curd chillies, stems removed
- 6 teaspoons of oil or more, depending on your preference
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- A pinch of asafoetida
- Mix the wheat flour, cut green chilly, sour curd, water, salt to taste and curry leaves (torn, using your hands), in a large mixing bowl. Make sure everything is well mixed together, and that there are no lumps.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, and add the mustard seeds. Let them splutter. Add the asafoetida and let it stay in a couple of seconds. Add the curd chillies and fry them, turning the flame down to medium, till they start turning black.
- Now, turn the flame down further, and add the wheat flour mixture to the pan.
- Cook on low flame, for a 4-5 minutes, uncovered. Ensure that you keep stirring constantly, so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. You might see some small lumps forming in the mixture initially, but don’t worry about them. Just keep cooking and stirring, and you will be fine.
- Cover and cook for 6-8 more minutes, or till the wheat flour begins to look cooked and the mixture begins to come together. It will take you 10-12 minutes for the mixture to cook well. Open cover and stir intermittently.
- Switch off the gas when the mixture is thoroughly cooked. In between, you might want to add more oil if you feel it is getting too sticky to handle.
- Serve hot or cold, as per your preference.
- In the olden days, more kali would be made by soaking rice and then grinding it, post which the ground rice would be cooked with curd. Almost no one makes more kali that way any more, as it is a time-consuming and laborious process. It is quicker to make the more kali with rice flour, instead. My mother often makes it with wheat flour, instead of rice flour, and we like it that way.
- You need to add a whole lot of oil – say about 12-15 teaspoons – to the more kali if you want it to have a yummylicious crust, but I skipped that. You can add more oil, if you are okay with that.
- We usually cook the more kali till a point where it is well cooked, but not too hard. If you cook it a little beyond this stage, on a low flame, you can pat it down into a plate, it will harden when it cools a little, and you can cut it into pieces like burfee.
- Use sour curd to make this dish, for best results.
- If you don’t have curd chillies, you can use dry red chillies to make the more kali too. The curd chillies add a whole lot of flavour to the dish, though, and I would highly recommend using them. We use store-bought curd chillies, but you could make them at home too, if you get a lot of sun.
- If using curd chillies, be careful while salting the dish, for the curd chillies contain salt, too.
- The curd chillies, when you encounter them while eating the more kali, can be consumed too. You won’t be able to do that if you are using dry red chillies.
This is an entry for the letter M, for the Alphabet Cooking Challenge.