“Aava Pettina” denotes mustard (paste) infused, and Majjiga Pulusu means yogurt stew. This Telugu cousin to the Tamil Mor Kuzhambu stands apart from the Mor Kuzhambu pack due to the extra zing from the freshly ground mustard-chili paste. We love all kinds of Mor Kuzhmbu aka Majjiga Pulusu. However, this recipe that my mom makes is my absolute favorite. This is a thick, creamy yogurt stew, that goes really well with rice. Let’s see how to make this –
To make the best out of this recipe, use home made curd, which is slightly sour. I think most of us store curd in the refrigerator. Say, you plan to make this recipe for lunch tomorrow, leave the curd at room temperature overnight . This way the curd will turn slightly sour and perfect for this recipe. The same applies to store bought curds as well.
The curd measurement I have given here is for home made curd. Generally, home made ones aren’t as thick and creamy as store bought curds. If you are using the store bought super thick set curd/dahi, add 1/2 cup of water to the curd and whisk it well before leaving it over night.
You will need 3 cups of curd for this recipe. To this add, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and whisk well. Do not add water. We are only whisking the curd to make it smooth and creamy. Set aside.Soak and Grind/Emulsify
Soak the following ingredients in water for 30 minutes – 1 tablespoon mustard seeds, 3/4 tablespoon tur dal, 3/4 tablespoon chana dal, 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 3 green chilies and 1/2 inch ginger. The mustard is the hero of the dish, therefore do not reduce the quantity.
Next, grind the soaked spices/dals with 3 teaspoons of cooking oil, 3 tablespoons of coconut scraping and a handful of fresh coriander leaves. Grind it into a very smooth paste by adding curd/buttermilk. You can chose to add a bit of water as well. The idea is to create a super flavorful spice emulsion. Add this ground paste into the whisked curd. Mix well.Cook
Cook the spiced curd mixture in medium heat. Most often people face the problem of curdled/grainy/thirnjipona Majjiga Pulusu/Mor Kuzhambu. The one and only reason for this is over cooking….Now how long to cook to get the perfect texture? Here is my mom’s tip to get the perfect creamy texture for majjiga pulusu – Just leave the spiced curd in the vessel on medium heat undisturbed. Do not stir. In a few minutes you will see bubbles/foam forming in the sides. Just when it closes in the middle, switch off the heat. The idea is to heat it just enough, but not let it boil. The moment curd boils, it will split and create a grainy texture. You will see in the below pic, at what point you will need to switch off the heat – the foam/bubbles in the side, but the curd has not boiled. This will take less than 5 minutes.
Heat 3 teaspoons of cooking oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. Add cumin seeds, handful of curry leaves and saute for a few seconds. Add ladies finger, cut into 1 inch pieces. Saute until the ladies fingers brown. Add this to the cooked majjiga pulusu. Even though you can use any cooked veggetable for this Majjiga Pulusu, you can even omit it if you like.Enjoy Majjiga Pulusu with hot rice and pappu (cooked tur dal). This majjiga pulusu is perfect for soaking hot vadas !
Hot vada-Aava pettina majjiga pulusu is a match made in food heaven