Dosa Mogalai Podi – A tambram kitchen essential

Background:

Growing up the standard evening tiffin in our home used to be the ubiquitous dosai with molahai podi. Chutneys and sambar were for when we had guests or when we were guests at other peoples’ homes. Having said that I never realized there would be a day when the common dosai mohalai podi would become exotic. This weekend with Amma at home, I made her prepare a batch that would see me through the end of the year. Refered by some as molagai podi or gun powder, this potent spice, lentil mix is drool worthy as a paste with oil or sprinkled over home made thayir or curds.

Stuff you will need:

Urad dhal – 1 cup Channa dhal – 1/2 cup White sesame seeds – A handful Jaggery or brown sugar – 1 tbsp Red chillies – 10-12 Asafoetida – 1 tsp Salt to taste Oil – 1 tsp

How to make it?

In a shallow pan, add a couple of drops of oil and roast the urad dhal, channa dhal separately. Set aside. Dry roast sesame seeds, set aside. Add few more drops of oil, add asafoetida, then red chillies and roast. Set aside. When all ingredients are roasted and cooled, dry grind the mix with salt and jaggery or brown sugar to a medium fine mixture. Store airtight.

Serve as a side to idlis/dosas mixed with gingelly oil.

Special notes:

The jaggery/brown sugar and sesame seeds are optional. White sesame seeds and be replaced with black ones. The color changes but the taste is more or less the same.

Homemade Thayir, Dahi, Curds or Yogurt in colder climes

Background:

As a new bride I struggled to make thayir like amma made. I tried to emulate what I had seen her do with drastically different results. Over the years, talking to old hands at this, I have discovered a way that makes my thayir almost as good as hers. This applies to colder climes.

Stuff you will need:

2% Milk – 1 liter
Left over thayir – 1 tbsp

How to make it?

Boil milk till it really is ready to boil over. Remove from heat and let cool till you can put your hands around the vessel and hold it there for 10 secs. At this point stir in the thayir. Close the vessel. If you are doing this overnight, let the microwave run for about a minute or two empty. When done, move the vessel containing the milk and close. Leave undisturbed for about 8 hours. Thayir is ready.

Serves four

Special notes:

I have experimented with putting it in the oven and leaving the oven light on, the thayir sets no doubt but becomes sour quick.