Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Ragi Kudumulu with Garlic Ghee

Ragi kudumulu is an old classic from Andhra Pradesh, India. Dumplings like kudumulu are prepared with ragi flour and steam-cooked in flavorful kura (curry). The main ingredient of kura in which ragi kudumulu are steamed changes with the seasons. Sometimes the kura is prepared with vegetables, sometimes with meat or a combination. Depends on the cook’s mood and the market prices. Popular in agricultural community, this protein powerhouse is a build or nourish the muscle-on-the-bone kind of one-pot meal.

For Mathy’s Jihva, I have been thinking about a new recipe using garlic-ghee. Then I thought, why not incorporate garlic-ghee into ragi dough and make kudumulu with it. When people say developing new things or techniques is like constantly rediscovering the wheel, it’s very true, indeed. Years of nutritional strategies and accumulated wisdom among cooks throughout the world before us are right to benefit us all through good times and hard times.

Ragi kudumulu is one such nutritional strategy, and here it is in a new avatar. An acquired taste, but a delight to an adventurous palate. Give it a try.

Ridge gourd and Ragi Dough
Ridge Gourd and Ragi Dough (Beerakaya mariyu Raagi Mudda)

Recipe:
(for two adults, for two meals)

Recipe happens in three steps. 1. Prepare Ragi dough for Kudumulu.
2. Prepare kura (curry or kurma) for Kudumulu. 3. Prepare kudumulu and steam-cook.

Step 1:

Take one-cup ragi flour in a bowl. Add a tablespoon of garlic-ghee puree and quarter teaspoon salt. Stir in a tablespoon of garlic infused ghee. Sprinkling few tablespoons of hot water, make soft dough. Cover and keep it aside for about 15 to 30 minutes. The dough firms up on resting.

Step 2:

While the ragi dough is resting, prepare kura for ragi kudumulu. It can be with either vegetables, (traditional choice: Indian broad beans, silk squash and ridge gourd), or meat (chicken or mutton). For my meal today, I have prepared Ridge gourd curry (beerakaya kura) for ragi kudumulu.

- - 2 ridge gourds: peel, rinse and cut into ½ inch, big pieces
- - 2 tomatoes and one onion - finely chop to small pieces

Heat a tablespoon of garlic infused ghee in a wide, deep-bottomed skillet. Add and toast a pinch each - cumin and mustard seeds. When seeds start to pop, add the onion. Sauté to soft. Then tomatoes. Add about a cup of water and cook the tomatoes to mush on high heat.

While tomatoes are cooking, prepare the kura masala:
For kura masala: Two tablespoons of grated coconut, 4 green chillies and an inch of peeled ginger, two cloves, one inch cinnamon, a teaspoon each - coriander seeds and cumin. Take them all in a mixer. Add a pinch of salt. Blend to fine consistency.

Tomatoes will be cooked to soft by now. Mush them by pressing with a sturdy spoon. Add the ridge gourd pieces and the masala paste to the skillet. Also half teaspoon each- turmeric and salt. Stir in another cup of water. Close the lid and simmer on medium-low heat.

Step 3:

While kura is cooking, quickly prepare Ragi kudumulu.

Take the ragi dough out onto a plate. Knead and divide into small, about key lime-sized rounds. The dough came about 16 rounds for me. Take a round on your palm, and close the fingers around the round to make a fist. The shape changes to cylindrical with conical ends. That’s what we call “Kudumu” shape in Telugu. Compared to the round shape, the kudumu shape will have more surface area exposed, and that would facilitates thorough steaming. Prepare all rounds in this way. You have to make them fast in two to three minutes.

Place them one after another neatly in simmering kura. Close the lid tightly, and steam for about 15 to 20 minutes on medium-low heat. Ragi kudumulu have to be cooked properly inside. To test, take one out and cut into half. A well-steamed one has the color of red soil (erra mannu) that you see in moderate rainfall areas like Telengana, Andhra Pradesh. On taste, they should have the comforting texture of a well-chewed bubblegum.:) Sticky with unique ragi flavor. The size/volume also increases on steaming.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and lime juice. Serve hot. Until serving time, cover the skillet with tight lid and keep the kura hot on low heat.

How to serve: Place four ragi kudumulu in a wide bowl or plate along with vegetable or meat pieces. Pour the tomato-masala gravy around.

How to eat: With fingers or spoon, take a portion of ragi kudumu with kura. Blow to cool for once or twice. Eat. Ragi flour has gummy properties and it would stick to the mouth roof. So don’t chew on the kudumu, just swallow. The masala gravy and vegetables or meat pieces, together they make a memorable meal experience.

Why: Ragi is rich in Iron, minerals and protein, gluten-free, and is known for it’s health benefits. Ragi is cultivated from ancient times in many parts of India, and in fact the name Ragi is a Sanskrit word. So, Ragi consumption means nourishment to the body and also nourishing the traditional agricultural practices.

Here is the preparation process in photos:


Ragi Kudumulu and Ragi Dough


Steamed Ragi Kudumulu in Ridge Gourd Kura


Ragi Kudumulu Flavored with Garlic Ghee in Ridge Gourd Kura ~
Meal today and My Contribution to Mathy’s Garlic-Jihva Event.

Notes:
Ragi flour is available in most Indian grocery shops.
Kudumu is singular and kudumulu is plural in Telugu language.
Traditional Kudumulu from other parts of Bharath:
Jonna (Corn) Kudumulu from En Ulagam
Jowar-wheat Kudumulu from My Food Court

Do you have this type of tradition where kudumulu or dumplings are steam-cooked in the stew itself?

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Ragi, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Beera kaaya(Ridge Gourd), Ragi Flour, Ghee, Garlic (Vellulli) (Tuesday April 1, 2008 at 5:45 pm- permalink)
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Ragi Mudda (Ragi Sankati)

Ragi skipped a generation in popularity. Though our educated parents knew how to make Ragi mudda, they didn’t think of it as a cool recipe for everyday meal. Education and jobs have moved them from villages to cities and old type of recipes was not fashionable to them anymore.

Recently there is a surge of pride in our agricultural products. I call it agricultural patriotism, elicited because, some evil global corporations (US based) which tried to claim patents on turmeric. If they had gotten these patents, no one except the company would have rights on this ancient agricultural product. numerous cases of this kind of attempts to steal the agricultural rights, virtues and history of ancient herbs and products, have surfaced in the recent past. People in countries like India stood steadfast to preserve their rights and they prevailed.

Okay… anyhow coming back to Ragi…
Like quinoa of South American indigenous people, Ragi also plays important part in the nutritional makeup of South India’s village populace. Unpretentious, basic and strength to body kind of food, rich in Calcium and iron, I love my ragi. Low in price, easy to make and versatile, the basic recipe can be adopted to suit any type of palate.

Here is the recipe of ragi mudda or sankati the way we make in our home.

Ragi Flour, Rice and Salt - Ingredeints for Ragi Mudda

Recipe:
(for two people, for one serving)

1 cup of ragi flour
Fistful of rice
1/4 teaspoon of salt
4 cups of water
1 teaspoon of ghee

Preparation:

Take water and rice in a saucepan, add salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook the rice until the grains are Ragi Mudda - In Final stages of preparationsoft. When the rice is soft, add - just pour or dump ragi flour into the pot. Donot stir now, this is the way folks back at home cook. Cover and put this mixture on medium heat for few minutes until the steam lifts the plate covering the pan. Remove the cover. Using a wooden masher or whisk, stir the ragi-rice mixure vigorously and thoroughly until you see no lumps.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and let it steam cook for about 15 minutes. Switch off the heat. Let it cool down a little bit and make mudda or balls with it. Back home, they dip their hands in cool water first and then immediately take a portion of ragi and shape them into a ball, all done very fast. Here, I use an ice cream scooper to make round balls.

How it is served: Place the ragi mudda in a bowl and pour the sambhar over it. Not too cold and not too hot, just warm is perfect for the palate. Drizzle ghee over it. Today I made carrot sambhar for ragi mudda. It tastes quite good not only with sambhar and but also with peanut chutney, potato kurma or any other vegetable gravy curry. People in Telangana region of Andhra, are particularly fond of ragi mudda/sankati-chicken kurma combination.

How it is eaten: Using your hand or with a spoon, take small portions from the big ragi mudda, dip them into sambhar and swallow. Don’t use teeth; let the tongue do the work. Ragi can be incredibly gummy so traditionally the small balls are never bitten, they are just swallowed. Warm ragi mudda coated all around with sambhar… gives an incredible satisfaction. Children love this kind of food.

Variations: As I mentioned above, you can change the recipe to suit your taste just by changing or adding ingredients. Basic method of preparation is the same, but you can make it mildly sweet by adding jaggery or sugar. Or more rich by substituting the water with milk. You can also add one tablespoon of ghee while still cooking. Also add toasted and finely powdered cashews or peanuts to make it even richer.

Ragi Mudda (Ragi Porridge / Ragi Sankati) in Carrot Sambhar

Ragi mudda or santaki in Carrot sambhar with ghee ~ Our meal today.

English translation of Ragi Mudda is - Ragi ball or porridge

Recipe Source: Attamma and Rajeswari - My mother in law and sister

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Ragi, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Ragi Flour (Wednesday December 7, 2005 at 3:47 pm- permalink)
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Ragi Dosa & Orange-Banana Smoothie

After 3 days of heavy meals because of Deepavali, I wanted to try something new, easy to make and somewhat light on stomach kind of meal. Two of VKN’s, My Dhaba recipes - Ragi Dosa and Orange-banana yogurt&honey drink (HOBIY) have caught my eye.

I have all the ingredients including fresh coconut (puja offering) and oranges. So I tried out these two recipes today for lunch and they turned out spectacular tastewise.

I Loved the chewy taste of ragi dosa and the smell is incredible; it’s like the smell of earth when it is raining. I had the fresh ragi flour, perhaps that may be the reason for the incredible aroma.
(You can find ragi flour in almost all Indian grocery shops here in US. Ragi (finger millet) is one of the ancient grains and very healthy source of Calcium. )

Ragi Flour, Onion, Green Chilli, Fresh Coconut and Cilantro - Ingredients for Ragi Dosa or Utappam

Recipe:

3 cups a href=”http://www.patelbrothersusa.com/show_item_details.asp?item_id=163″>ragi flour
1 cup coconut- fresh and finely grated
Onions, green chillies and cilantro - finely chopped, to taste
Salt to taste

I mixed all of the above ingredients with water in a bowl, thoroughly (like dosa/pancake batter consistency) and poured ladleful of batter onto a hot griddle. Adding few drops of oil, cooked the dosa on both sides till brown and crispy. I made four of these dosas (utappams). We had them with coconut chutney.

I also made the HOBIY. When I first read about this drink, I was little bit skeptical. First of all it’s orange and banana, then it’s yogurt. I wondered about the combination. Vijay often makes himself a drink with soya milk, banana and honey. Thinking, he may like this new drink, I prepared the VKN’s signatory HOBIY drink, by blending half cup of home made yogurt, freshly squeezed juice of one naval orange, one small banana and two tablespoons of honey and few ice cubes. Again, turned out to be one refreshing drink. There was no overpowering smell of banana. Orange juice and yogurt completely masked the smell and taste of banana. I, who normally don’t like the taste of banana in drink form, also enjoyed it.

Ragi Dosa, Coconut Chutney and Banana-Orange Yogurt Drink
Our meal today ~ Ragi Dosa with Coconut Chutney and Banana-Orange Yogurt Smoothie.

Thanks VKN for sharing these two wonderful, traditional, tasty family recipes with us.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Ragi, Green Chillies, Flour(Pindi), Ragi Flour, Bananas (Thursday November 3, 2005 at 5:20 pm- permalink)
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Raagi Malt (Raagi Ganji)

I love Raagi malt, particularly on cold rainy days like today. It’s May, still so cold here. It is like this since last week. I am waiting for the Sun to shine again.

Raagi (Finger millet, Ragi, Kelvaragu, Muthari, Nachni) is a Sanskrit word, and it is a type of millet grain cultivated in India from ancient times. Raagi is well-known to be rich in protein, calcium, iron and it is gluten free grain. At our home in India, ragi grains are sprouted, then gently roasted on low flame and milled to fine powder. With this freshly milled ragi powder, we prepare a rejuvenating drink called ragi malt or ragi ganji.

Ragi flour, milk and water boiled together and sweetened with sugar or jaggery is ragi malt - popular as poor man’s or farmers health drink because of ready availability, low prices for the grain and nutritious, filling quality. If it is good for a farmer and to an ancient Sanskrit speaking person, then it must be good for me too, so I often prepare this drink in place of coffee and tea.

Raagi flour is available at Indian grocery shops. I brought mine from India. Freshly milled and needless to say so much better than the store bought flour. Back home, my mother and mother-in-law, both prepare this drink daily. It’s a routine for them, nothing fancy or special like for us here. And they always flavor the drink with cardamom.

Ragi Flour and Mixing water into ragi flour

Recipe:
for two cups

1 tablespoon of ragi flour
1 glass of water or milk
2 tsp of sugar or powdered jaggery
1/2 tsp of powdered cardamom

Boiling the water(milk) for Ragi malt Mixing the Ragi flour solution

Preparation:

First take the ragi flour in a cup. Add half glass water slowly. Combine to smooth, lump free paste. This is essential. Do not add the flour directly to boiling water, it will clump into lumps.

In a vessel, take one glass of water or milk. Preparing this drink with milk alone is too rich for me so I usually add few drops of milk to water.

Heat till the water reaches boiling stage. Then add the dissolved ragi flour solution slowly to the boiling water (milk), continuously stirring with a spoon. This will prevent the formation of lumps. If you add the flour mix to water before the boiling stage, the flour will separate and it won’t be suitable to drinking. You have to throw it away, so wait for water (milk) to start boiling, and then add the flour mix. This step is very important in preparing the good raagi malt.

Add sugar or jaggery per your taste and pinch of cardamom (Elachi) powder. Reduce the heat to medium level, and simmer the ragi malt for 5 minutes, stirring in-between. Turn off the heat.
Let it cool to warm, and then pour into a glass or cup.

Ragi Malt

When the body needs a break from caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea, Ragi Malt is the perfect warm beverage.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Dhanyam (Grains), Ragi, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Jaggery, Ragi Flour, Milk (Monday May 2, 2005 at 1:18 pm- permalink)
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