My favourite ozhichu curry (literal translation: curry that you pour). <3
Just as rice was a staple at the table, moru kachiyathu was a staple that I could almost always look forward to for lunch at Valliammachi's. Did I mention she's an amazing cook? :D
Why we love our rice
So, in Kerala, as you may have realised after reading this blog, a lot of our food is derived from rice. Plain rice, steamed rice (like in vattayappams/ mini rice cakes), ground rice (i.e., rice flour, like in puttu/ steamed rice cake), flattened rice (used in idli to make it uber soft), you get the picture.
It's no coincidence either! Paddy fields used to be grown in abundance - it was a crop very well suited to Kerala's (as well as other South Indian states) climate. So, as it was easily grown in Kerala, it became our choice source of carbs. Whereas wheat features more in North Indian cuisine simple because wheat grew much better in the northern climes. Cool, huh?
In Kerala, the rice that we get most readily (farmed mostly in the northern Kerala state of Palakkad) is matta rice or Kerala red rice. It's this puffy red rice, with a unique earthy taste that absorbs curry ridiculously well. So, when matta rice is on the table (usually all lunchtimes) it's almost GUARANTEED that there's an ozhichu curry. At Valliammachi's that usually means moru kachiyathu is a MUST and, occasionally, sambar. Unless of course we make kappa/ tapioca, in which case, ain't nobody got time for rice!
Moru kachiyathu, or buttermilk curry, is basically homemade curd/ yogurt blended with water and spiced. Yes, turmeric is most definitely involved.
I was talking in passing about Kerala recipes to a family friend and she mentioned making moru a lot whilst at uni because her Danish roomies absolutely LOVED it. You and me both, Danish roomies, you and me both! <3 <3 <3 We use a fair amount of curd at home and I was now CRAVING moru kachiyathu... so, mum helped with the recipe and now I'm sharing the love with all of you! :)
Ayurveda Dosha Suitability
Vata & Kapha.
Also, perfect for cold, wintery months!
In a blender, blend yogurt with 1/4 cup water. Set aside
In a pot, medium heat, heat oil and splutter mustard seeds. Add dry red chilli and curry leaves and saute till red chillis change colour. Add in pearl onions, ginger and garlic and saute till onions turn translucent. Add the spices and saute till onions turn golden brown.
Reduce flame to low, add blended buttermilk with salt. Heat buttermilk for approx another 5 minutes. Stir constantly and don't let it boil (otherwise the buttermilk will split).