Varagu (kodo millet) mor kali

This is my father’s favourite tiffin (and I love it too). My mother would soak rice for a couple of hours and then grind it very smoothly for making the mor kali. I used varagu (kodo millet) as it is healthier than rice and I must say the mor kali was just as tasty if not tastier. There is a slight difference in the colour between the varagu and rice mor kali. People make mor kali with rice flour also and so I suppose one could make it with varagu flour. I haven’t tried any other millet for this dish but I suppose some of them would work well too.

Varagu – 1 cup (soak in water for 2-3 hours)
Yogurt (sour) – 1 cup
Water – 2-3 cups
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Chana dal – 1 tsp
Mor milagai (yogurt soaked sun dried chillies) – 4 – 6 according to taste
Asafoetida – a pinch
Curry leaves – 8-10
Salt to taste
Sesame oil – 3 tbsp

Grind the soaked varagu with yogurt, water and salt to a smooth watery consistency. In a kadai add a tbsp of oil and deep fry the mor milagai till they are crisp and black. Keep this aside. In same kadai add another tbsp of oil and pop the mustard seeds, then fry the dals till golden brown and add asafoetida. Add curry leaves then the millet dough. On a medium flame keep stirring till it begins to thicken. I normally add the fried and crushed mor milagai early so that the mor kali soaks in the flavour of the chillies too. Continue stirring till it thickens, then add the remaining oil and keep covered on low flame for about 5 minutes. It should be cooked well and come away from the sides of the kadai much like halwa. Transfer to a greased plate, allow to cool and cut into squares. Serves 4.

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