So, I have been searching for the name for the mocha-kottai in English and the closest I could come to was the field beans. I am not sure if that’s what it’s called so am attaching a picture of it.
So this is what a mocha-kottai looks like. These beans add a lot of flavor to the gravy they are added to. One of the tastiest curries is this kuzhambu. It dosen’t take a lot of effort to make this, but just planning. The most important part is to soak it the previous night. This is one dish which can get my husband home for lunch, anytime. It’s his favorite along with beans paruppu usili, paruppu podi and arisi appalam. I don’t even have to make a call, just send a picture of what I cooked and he’d call and will be there, like magic.
Mocha kottai – ½ cup
Small onions – ½ cup
Garlic – 10-12 flakes
Tamarind pulp – from a lemon sized ball
Sambar powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Round red chillies – 3-4 nos
Jaggery – a tsp (powdered)
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Oil – 2 tbsps
Salt to taste
Thalikare Vadavam – 1 tbsp
( if you don’t have vadavam, you can add)
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp
Soak the mocha-kottai in water the previous night. Pressure cook the mochai, not for long but 2-3 whistles or they will disintegrate in the kuzhambu.
Heat a deep pan and add oil. When it’s hot add the thalikare vadavam or the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds along with the red chillies and curry leaves. Add the small onions in after they sputter and cook the onions till they start to change color. Add the garlic and sauté well, till a nice aroma comes from the onions and garlic. Make a pulp with the lemon sized ball of tamarind and strain it. Add this extract to the pan along with the sambar powder, turmeric powder. Mix well. Add half a cup of water if the extract is too thick and close the pan. Let it simmer for 5-10 mins. The oil will start separating from the sides. Add the cooked mochai to the pan, with salt and reduce the flame. Cook till the required consistency is reached. The kuzhambu has to be thick and not watery.
Transfer the kuzhambu to a serving dish and serve hot with rice and arisi appalams.(rice papad)