After the exams are over, who do you think is more relieved? The teacher or the student? Can hear all the Moms out there - the mother! The past few days have been quite busy as my son had his mid-term exams and they finally ended yesterday. Whew! And to think he is just in 4th grade and goes to one of those schools which don't have the concept of a test every Monday... that would be so sad and compound the Sunday evening blues for both him and me...thank God for small mercies! The pre-exam days and days of the exams are days when I need to set my alarm to go off half-an-hour earlier than my usual time...when the student is blissfully snoring away tucked cozily in his blanket. Don't you think its funny the way mothers try to cozy and huddle the sleepy angelic looking little ones in their beds when you have only 10 minutes more to get them out of there?
Lest you think I am one of those mothers who spend hours everyday helping kids with their studies, I am not! The only reason I get up earlier and rush through my chores is so that I can sit with my son for his exam prep for an hour and still mange to get on with the rest of my routine, i.e, workout, cooking, office, bake and blog. If you are a mother, then you know its nothing short of a Herculean task to get the kids to sit down for studies and actually get them to concentrate. How I wish my son would like me (and most other kids of our times, we are now ancient aren't we?) study on his own and I just had to supply him some thing to snack on.. sigh! Like my Mom would when we were preparing for the exams. My childhood best friend and immediate neighbor would come over to my place for 'combined studies' and it was a huge plus for us. Guess why? Girl talk was one thing, Aunty, the friend's mother would also pitch in to send us, the hard-working students some yummy eats!! Now I won't tell you, though I was a 'serious and tense' good student who would study for hours, the 'exam tension' could not stop me from keeping my ears strained for my mother or Aunty to give a shout for something to eat. Such welc..uummm breaks!
This of course has nothing at all to do with the dish here, am just again chattering away as I am so glad that exams are over! Now this dish called Hasi Majjige (funny name right?) translates literally to 'uncooked buttermilk'. Which is to say, that this dish needs no cooking, except for the tempering. Fresh coconut, roasted Bengal gram, mustard, asafetida, chillies are ground to a paste and whisked in yogurt, watered down a bit and there you have a very delicious and simple dish to go with your rice. When you feel like a change from the usual dal and you are too lazy to bother with veggies, this makes a very nice variation...
Here is how we do it.
Grated fresh coconut - 3/4 cup
Roasted Bengal gram - 1 teaspoon ( 2 teaspoons if you prefer a thicker gravy)
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Green chillies - 2 (more if you want it spicier)
Fresh coriander, chopped - 2 tablespoons
Fresh thick yogurt - 1 1/2 cups
Asafetida / hing - A pinch
Salt to taste
Water - 1/2 to 3/4 cup as needed
For the tempering:
1 or 2 teaspoons oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon urad dal
A few curry leaves
A dash of hing
Procedure: Grind the fresh coconut, mustard seeds, asafetida, chillies, Bengal gram and coriander to a smooth paste using very little water. Take the yogurt in a bowl. Add the ground paste, salt to taste and whisk till well combined. Add about 1/2 cup water to thin it. Do not thin it down too much or the flavor will be lost.
Heat the oil for the tempering. Add the mustard seeds. When it sputters, add the urad dal, saute till it turns a golden color. Add the curry leaves, hing, saute for a few seconds. Pour this over the yogurt gravy, mix. Serve with hot rice. This is a preferred accompaniment to Matodi Palya.
The consistency of the gravy is meant to be neither thick nor very thin. 1 teaspoon Bengal gram works fine for this proportion, add another teaspoon if you prefer more thickness. Keep the gravy refrigerated or it will turn sour.