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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Garlic Infused Ghee

Garlic and butter for garlic-ghee

Garlic roasted in ghee was a favorite summer time snack growing up. It was the only way I could eat garlic when I was a child. They are also specifically prepared and fed to new mothers after delivery. Garlic is well known for it’s disease-preventing properties and toasting in ghee makes garlic more palatable. So, it’s no wonder garlic-ghee combination has traditional roots. Also, garlic seems to enjoy ghee’s company. The special affinity between them is evident by the deep blush and the sweetness of garlic when ghee is around. Even the aroma changes to stimulating from another “s” type.:)

The following is a recipe that I have come up with while playing in the kitchen yesterday afternoon. I started out with the idea of preparing garlic-infused ghee, then during the process I realized I could make two types of garlic-ghee. Garlic infused ghee and garlic pureed in ghee. Both of them tasted so good and the aroma was wonderful, they have made the whole process of cooking a great adventure instead of an annoying chore. And with garlic-ghee on hand, I know miracles are possible with many savory entrées.

Recipe:

The following quantity makes about one cup of garlic-infused ghee and quarter cup garlic-ghee puree.

Unsalted butter - 4 OZ (113 grams)
Garlic cloves - 6 to 8, skins peeled
Black peppercorn - 8
Salt - a pinch

Tea or coffee strainer
Small mortar and pestle

For preparation, follow the photo pictorial below:

Garlic and butter for garlic-ghee

1. Finely slice each garlic clove into thin layers. Inside you see white or pale green stem. The pure white ones are preferable for this recipe, and discard the garlic if you see any green growth inside.

2. Place the garlic and butter in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.

Garlic simmering in ghee
The garlic and ghee will look like this in the beginning.

Garlic simmering in ghee

3. After about 20-30 minutes of slow simmering, the butter changes to crystal-clear, aromatic ghee. Pale reddish-brown sediment forms at the bottom of the pan. The garlic also changes to soft and golden. Turn off the heat now.

Straining out the sediment and garlic from ghee

4. Pour the garlic-ghee through a strainer into a cup. The golden sediment and garlic will get separated from garlic-infused ghee.

Preparing Garlic-ghee Puree

5. Take the contents of strainer in a mortar. Add peppercorn and salt. Gently mash them to coarse paste.

6. Allow the garlic-ghee puree and garlic-infused ghee to cool. Store them in clean jars.

Garlic-Ghee Puree and Garlic-Infused Ghee
Garlic-Ghee Puree and Garlic-Infused Ghee ~ for Mathy’s Garlic Jihva

Greens, vegetables, dals, meat and fish, just a teaspoon would be enough and both, the garlic puree and ghee make wonderful additions to any savory preparation.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Ghee, Jihva For Ingredients, Garlic (Vellulli) (Monday March 31, 2008 at 1:42 pm- permalink)
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Jihva for Garlic

Garlic, Vellulli
Garlic (Vellulli, Lasoon) ~ for Mathy’s Jihva

For me, the taste of garlic changes with the way it is cut. I usually finely chop the garlic to tiny pieces and toast them in oil or ghee, as a part of the popu preparation for dals and curries. My latest thing is slivering. The garlic cloves here are so big that they can be easily sliced into thin layers like decorative almonds. The large size also makes it easy to hold and grate garlic like we do ginger and coconut. Whenever I find teensy-weensy garlic, which is a rare event in this size-obsessed land, then I simply follow my mother’s method and whack it with either the pappu gutti or the pestle. This simultaneously flattens the clove, releases precious juices, and facilitates removal of the skin. It is my preferred method of garlic preparation. To peel large quantities of garlic, following an old-time tip, I simply add the garlic cloves to warm water for about one to two minutes. Skins will then slip off easily.

So, which method you prefer and how do you prepare garlic for cooking?

Chopped Garlic ~ Four Ways
Finely Chopped, Slivered, Grated and Whacked
Garlic Preparation, Four Ways ~ for this Week’s Indian Kitchen

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Indian Ingredients, Indian Kitchen, Garlic (Vellulli) (Sunday March 30, 2008 at 9:29 pm- permalink)
Comments (24)

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