Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mogem Losun Miri (Field Marrow/Madras Cucumber in a Garlic & Pepper Curry)

One of the most traditional Mangalorean vegetarian curries would have to be the Mogem Losun Miri - a delicious all season curry made with Field Marrow (found in supermarkets today under the label 'Madras Cucumber') in a mildly spicy and fragrant curry made predominantly of garlic, pepper, chillies and onions ground to a fine paste along with other ingredients. 


In the olden days when people used to eat a lot of home grown vegetables, the Mogem (nasal pronounciation of 'Mogay') along with other vegetables that were harvested from one's own field and those that had a longer shelf life used to be stored for many weeks by hanging them from the ceiling, firmly bound by dhoriyo (thin coconut fibre ropes). Every household had many mouths to feed and hence one could find a host of such veggies ranging from Field Marrows (Mogem), Pumpkins (Dhudheim), Ash Gourds/Pumpkins (Kualo) & Bottle Gourds (Bobleim) waiting patiently to be cooked one by one in a khodi (spiced coconut curry with a combination of vegetables & legumes/dried sea food/meat) or fugath (dry side dish made with the tempering method) or thel piao (semi dry side dish made with the stir fry method) or sweet dishes like kheers (payasams) or halwas. 

(Pic source: Internet)

This 'hanging garden' used to be found in a long corridor beside the kitchen in almost every house with a tiled roof. By the way, the architecture of all these houses were almost the same. Three or four steps led to the entrance of every house which then branched into a sopo (porch) that was built in a symmetrical fashion. One side of this long and thin porch overlooked the garden - one could sit on the graadhi (parapets) & enjoy the evening breeze - I have spent many childhood moments enjoying the breeze or watching the pitter patter of raindrops during the monsoon from these parapets. The porch was also a place where the less important activities were held and the special happenings took place in the inner hall or living room which again branched out into bedrooms and the kitchen (which was almost always on the left side of the hall). This kitchen - the place which housed the hearth fuelled by lankhod (firewood), pidey (dried palm stems), sonna (dried coconut husks) & khatti (coconut shells) was the place where the most delicious meals were prepared. However, such kitchens were not the prettiest thanks to all the kheri (coal dust) that formed a layer on the walls & ceilings - but then no one complained as every kitchen met the same fate and modular kitchens weren't in vogue then anyways!


I think the aromas (of the earthen pots, the firewood & the spices) that wafted through the kitchens were sealed in the dish that was being cooked and made the food more enjoyable & sustaining. I can't imagine a modular kitchen giving the same result today - which is why I largely believe that traditional methods and modes of cooking play a predominant role in the superior quality of a dish. This along with the right combination of foods made for a complete meal. When I say 'combination of foods' it means that a vegetable curry for example when eaten with unpolished rice, a side dish of meat, fish (often dried fish), pickles & curds was nothing but a simple yet healthy combination of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and nutrients.

Hence a combination of the right cooking techniques, organic ingredients and a balance meal played its part in ensuring healthy minds and bodies - little wonder then that our ancestors were far more healthy & with fewer ailments than the modern generation.


Mogem Losun Miri
(Printable Recipe)

Preparation time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 2-3

You Need:
  • 1/2 a medium size/ 350gm mogem/field marrow/madras cucumber
  • 1/2 onion finely sliced
  • jaggery to taste (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp oil for frying
  • salt to taste
For the masala
  • 4 long dry red chillies (I use Bedgi)
  • 4-5 peppercorns
  • 1-1/2 tsp cumin (jeera)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (haldi)
  • 1-1/2 medium onion
  • 4 flakes of garlic with skin
  • 1 marble size ball of tamarind or 1 level tsp tamarind paste
For the seasoning/tempering
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic (with skin) crushed
  • 2 -3 tsp oil (preferably coconut oil)
  • 4-5 curry leaves/karipatta (optional)
Method:
1. Wash the the field marrow and cut it into half and then quarters, remove the pith & seeds and then cut into small cubes. Keep aside.
2. Using a little water, grind all the ingredients mentioned in 'For the masala' to a fine paste
3. In a wok or pan add the masala, 1-1/2 cups of water, cubed field marrow, sliced onion, jaggery and salt to taste. Mix and bring the gravy to a boil. Reduce the flame to a medium low and cook till the field marrow is tender but firm.
4. For the seasoning - heat oil in a small pan and toss in the mustard, when it stops spluttering add the crushed garlic and pour this seasoning into the curry. Cover the pan immediately to retain the fragrance of the seasoning. Turn off the flame.
5. Serve hot with rice

Notes
You can save cooking time by making this curry in a pressure cooker. Instead of a regular pan add all the ingredients mentioned in Step# 3 in a pressure cooker. Close the cover of the pressure cooker and place the weight (whistle) and cook on a full flame till one whistle goes off. Turn off the flame immediately and allow the pressure cooker to cool down for a couple of minutes and then slowly try releasing the pressure by lifting the whistle with a spoon. Open the cover carefully, stir once and proceed to Step#4



31 comments:

  1. As a child I hated this curry...gulp...and guess what I requested mom two make for me when I visited home....Mogem curry...:D :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. When i first saw the title I though it was a non veg dish!!! And then scrolled down to see my fav veg as the main ingredient!!! Mom will be very happy with this traditional mlore recipe..Bookmarked this lip smacking gashi ;)
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

    ReplyDelete
  3. We call it sauthe btw.. :)
    Prathima Rao
    Pratss Corner

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow thats a yummy curry...love the color :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Omg, wat a super delicious curry, would love to have with a bowl of rice..

    ReplyDelete
  6. Smitha MascarenhasJanuary 17, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    One of the most delicious mangalorean curries. By the way "Field Marrow" is also known as "Mangalooru Southe" in Kannada, which looks quite contradictory - regionally with the "Madras Cucumber". The Malayalam version is "Vellari". In Dubai, if you ask for Field Marrow with the green grocer, you will get blank expression in return. You have to always ask for Vellari when in Dubai and shopping for veg. in Indian supermarkets (personal experience!!!!)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the comment Smitha! In Mumbai it is sold in the name of Madras Cucumber :) thanks for letting me know about 'Vellari' - however google pics show a different vegetable when I type Vellari

    ReplyDelete
  8. Awesome recipe..A must try one

    Aarthi
    http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  9. Shireen loved the whole write up nd i love this curry especially with drumsticks......

    ReplyDelete
  10. Delicious and mouthwatering curry. Wonderfully prepared.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

    ReplyDelete
  11. Shireen,Thanks for this recipe. I have always wanted to make these cute looking cucumbers, but did not know how. This one looks incredibly delicious! bookmarked !

    ReplyDelete
  12. Superb curry..

    http://vegetarianmedley.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  13. very delicious curry, looks great Shireen..

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nice recipe & the colour is super awesome......just makes me feel hungry.

    ReplyDelete
  15. good going Shireen.. Post more...

    ReplyDelete
  16. good going...post more.....do you know drumstick curry?...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for all the lovely comments!! @Preetam : thanks so much! Yes, currently i know to make the drumstick sukka & drumstick sambhar...will check the recipe of the curry as well :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. tried this recipe today..awesome..along with mogem my mother use to put few jack fruit seeds..soon going to try other recipes too.During Christmas time i tried your plum cake it was excellent.

    ReplyDelete
  19. i tried this recipe today it is very very good..along with mogem my mother use to put few jack fruit seeds.going to try other recipes soon.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you Anonymous & Lewis for your lovely feedback!! It feels good to know that you tried & liked the recipes :) Yes, you can add bikna-jackfruit seeds to most Mangalorean veg curries..tastes awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Shireen, thanks! I have been struggling to get this curry right! Believe me, when one is away from Mlore, and finds a mogem in the sabzi shop, one just picks it up! And then...one has to cook it right....after many failed attempts, thanks for giving me my first hit!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank u so much for your feedback Sharon!! Feels great to hear that the curry was a hit!! Glad u enjoyed it!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Nice recipe Shireen this one is one of my fav mangi curry, BTW youve mentioned the oil twice in the recipe list one at the beginning and one for the seasoning , can you please clarify? did you use the first qty for frying the onion by chance? I was a bit confused, thanx a million

    ReplyDelete
  24. @ Anonymous: Yes, the first time it is to fry the onions. And later it is to used to fry the seasoning - hence I have mentioned it under different heads :) Hope u like it!

    ReplyDelete
  25. In the list of seasoning Mustard has been missed out.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Dear Shireen I have always liked this curry prepared by my mother with jack fruit seeds added. On my visit to Mangalore I picked up a Mogem and as I am alone at home wanted to cook it and what best site to look for the recipe! There you are Ruchik Randap - Cooked just the way you have given the recipe and bless you, the dish is mouth watering. Thanks so very much Shireen

    Alwyn

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you dear Alwyn for your lovely comment! It was so heartwarming to read it :) I am so happy to know that my recipe helped refresh some fond memories of aunty Ellu. Thanks for trying and for your kind feedback! Regards - Shireen

    ReplyDelete
  28. great seeing a recipe with pictures! I bought one of these under the impression it was a type of marrow, when I got home and cut it open, I thought it was a type of melon. however when i tested it, it was none..... I had not clue what it was, so unfortunately I put it in the bin as I couldn't find any information about it/. Will most certainly try this recipe :)

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post!

If you are unable to post a comment, please write to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com

Last but not the least, my name is Shireen & not Ruchik :-)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mogem Losun Miri (Field Marrow/Madras Cucumber in a Garlic & Pepper Curry)

One of the most traditional Mangalorean vegetarian curries would have to be the Mogem Losun Miri - a delicious all season curry made with Field Marrow (found in supermarkets today under the label 'Madras Cucumber') in a mildly spicy and fragrant curry made predominantly of garlic, pepper, chillies and onions ground to a fine paste along with other ingredients. 


In the olden days when people used to eat a lot of home grown vegetables, the Mogem (nasal pronounciation of 'Mogay') along with other vegetables that were harvested from one's own field and those that had a longer shelf life used to be stored for many weeks by hanging them from the ceiling, firmly bound by dhoriyo (thin coconut fibre ropes). Every household had many mouths to feed and hence one could find a host of such veggies ranging from Field Marrows (Mogem), Pumpkins (Dhudheim), Ash Gourds/Pumpkins (Kualo) & Bottle Gourds (Bobleim) waiting patiently to be cooked one by one in a khodi (spiced coconut curry with a combination of vegetables & legumes/dried sea food/meat) or fugath (dry side dish made with the tempering method) or thel piao (semi dry side dish made with the stir fry method) or sweet dishes like kheers (payasams) or halwas. 

(Pic source: Internet)

This 'hanging garden' used to be found in a long corridor beside the kitchen in almost every house with a tiled roof. By the way, the architecture of all these houses were almost the same. Three or four steps led to the entrance of every house which then branched into a sopo (porch) that was built in a symmetrical fashion. One side of this long and thin porch overlooked the garden - one could sit on the graadhi (parapets) & enjoy the evening breeze - I have spent many childhood moments enjoying the breeze or watching the pitter patter of raindrops during the monsoon from these parapets. The porch was also a place where the less important activities were held and the special happenings took place in the inner hall or living room which again branched out into bedrooms and the kitchen (which was almost always on the left side of the hall). This kitchen - the place which housed the hearth fuelled by lankhod (firewood), pidey (dried palm stems), sonna (dried coconut husks) & khatti (coconut shells) was the place where the most delicious meals were prepared. However, such kitchens were not the prettiest thanks to all the kheri (coal dust) that formed a layer on the walls & ceilings - but then no one complained as every kitchen met the same fate and modular kitchens weren't in vogue then anyways!


I think the aromas (of the earthen pots, the firewood & the spices) that wafted through the kitchens were sealed in the dish that was being cooked and made the food more enjoyable & sustaining. I can't imagine a modular kitchen giving the same result today - which is why I largely believe that traditional methods and modes of cooking play a predominant role in the superior quality of a dish. This along with the right combination of foods made for a complete meal. When I say 'combination of foods' it means that a vegetable curry for example when eaten with unpolished rice, a side dish of meat, fish (often dried fish), pickles & curds was nothing but a simple yet healthy combination of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and nutrients.

Hence a combination of the right cooking techniques, organic ingredients and a balance meal played its part in ensuring healthy minds and bodies - little wonder then that our ancestors were far more healthy & with fewer ailments than the modern generation.


Mogem Losun Miri
(Printable Recipe)

Preparation time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 2-3

You Need:
  • 1/2 a medium size/ 350gm mogem/field marrow/madras cucumber
  • 1/2 onion finely sliced
  • jaggery to taste (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp oil for frying
  • salt to taste
For the masala
  • 4 long dry red chillies (I use Bedgi)
  • 4-5 peppercorns
  • 1-1/2 tsp cumin (jeera)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (haldi)
  • 1-1/2 medium onion
  • 4 flakes of garlic with skin
  • 1 marble size ball of tamarind or 1 level tsp tamarind paste
For the seasoning/tempering
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic (with skin) crushed
  • 2 -3 tsp oil (preferably coconut oil)
  • 4-5 curry leaves/karipatta (optional)
Method:
1. Wash the the field marrow and cut it into half and then quarters, remove the pith & seeds and then cut into small cubes. Keep aside.
2. Using a little water, grind all the ingredients mentioned in 'For the masala' to a fine paste
3. In a wok or pan add the masala, 1-1/2 cups of water, cubed field marrow, sliced onion, jaggery and salt to taste. Mix and bring the gravy to a boil. Reduce the flame to a medium low and cook till the field marrow is tender but firm.
4. For the seasoning - heat oil in a small pan and toss in the mustard, when it stops spluttering add the crushed garlic and pour this seasoning into the curry. Cover the pan immediately to retain the fragrance of the seasoning. Turn off the flame.
5. Serve hot with rice

Notes
You can save cooking time by making this curry in a pressure cooker. Instead of a regular pan add all the ingredients mentioned in Step# 3 in a pressure cooker. Close the cover of the pressure cooker and place the weight (whistle) and cook on a full flame till one whistle goes off. Turn off the flame immediately and allow the pressure cooker to cool down for a couple of minutes and then slowly try releasing the pressure by lifting the whistle with a spoon. Open the cover carefully, stir once and proceed to Step#4



31 comments:

  1. As a child I hated this curry...gulp...and guess what I requested mom two make for me when I visited home....Mogem curry...:D :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. When i first saw the title I though it was a non veg dish!!! And then scrolled down to see my fav veg as the main ingredient!!! Mom will be very happy with this traditional mlore recipe..Bookmarked this lip smacking gashi ;)
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

    ReplyDelete
  3. We call it sauthe btw.. :)
    Prathima Rao
    Pratss Corner

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow thats a yummy curry...love the color :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Omg, wat a super delicious curry, would love to have with a bowl of rice..

    ReplyDelete
  6. Smitha MascarenhasJanuary 17, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    One of the most delicious mangalorean curries. By the way "Field Marrow" is also known as "Mangalooru Southe" in Kannada, which looks quite contradictory - regionally with the "Madras Cucumber". The Malayalam version is "Vellari". In Dubai, if you ask for Field Marrow with the green grocer, you will get blank expression in return. You have to always ask for Vellari when in Dubai and shopping for veg. in Indian supermarkets (personal experience!!!!)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the comment Smitha! In Mumbai it is sold in the name of Madras Cucumber :) thanks for letting me know about 'Vellari' - however google pics show a different vegetable when I type Vellari

    ReplyDelete
  8. Awesome recipe..A must try one

    Aarthi
    http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  9. Shireen loved the whole write up nd i love this curry especially with drumsticks......

    ReplyDelete
  10. Delicious and mouthwatering curry. Wonderfully prepared.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

    ReplyDelete
  11. Shireen,Thanks for this recipe. I have always wanted to make these cute looking cucumbers, but did not know how. This one looks incredibly delicious! bookmarked !

    ReplyDelete
  12. Superb curry..

    http://vegetarianmedley.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  13. very delicious curry, looks great Shireen..

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nice recipe & the colour is super awesome......just makes me feel hungry.

    ReplyDelete
  15. good going Shireen.. Post more...

    ReplyDelete
  16. good going...post more.....do you know drumstick curry?...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for all the lovely comments!! @Preetam : thanks so much! Yes, currently i know to make the drumstick sukka & drumstick sambhar...will check the recipe of the curry as well :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. tried this recipe today..awesome..along with mogem my mother use to put few jack fruit seeds..soon going to try other recipes too.During Christmas time i tried your plum cake it was excellent.

    ReplyDelete
  19. i tried this recipe today it is very very good..along with mogem my mother use to put few jack fruit seeds.going to try other recipes soon.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you Anonymous & Lewis for your lovely feedback!! It feels good to know that you tried & liked the recipes :) Yes, you can add bikna-jackfruit seeds to most Mangalorean veg curries..tastes awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Shireen, thanks! I have been struggling to get this curry right! Believe me, when one is away from Mlore, and finds a mogem in the sabzi shop, one just picks it up! And then...one has to cook it right....after many failed attempts, thanks for giving me my first hit!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank u so much for your feedback Sharon!! Feels great to hear that the curry was a hit!! Glad u enjoyed it!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Nice recipe Shireen this one is one of my fav mangi curry, BTW youve mentioned the oil twice in the recipe list one at the beginning and one for the seasoning , can you please clarify? did you use the first qty for frying the onion by chance? I was a bit confused, thanx a million

    ReplyDelete
  24. @ Anonymous: Yes, the first time it is to fry the onions. And later it is to used to fry the seasoning - hence I have mentioned it under different heads :) Hope u like it!

    ReplyDelete
  25. In the list of seasoning Mustard has been missed out.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Dear Shireen I have always liked this curry prepared by my mother with jack fruit seeds added. On my visit to Mangalore I picked up a Mogem and as I am alone at home wanted to cook it and what best site to look for the recipe! There you are Ruchik Randap - Cooked just the way you have given the recipe and bless you, the dish is mouth watering. Thanks so very much Shireen

    Alwyn

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you dear Alwyn for your lovely comment! It was so heartwarming to read it :) I am so happy to know that my recipe helped refresh some fond memories of aunty Ellu. Thanks for trying and for your kind feedback! Regards - Shireen

    ReplyDelete
  28. great seeing a recipe with pictures! I bought one of these under the impression it was a type of marrow, when I got home and cut it open, I thought it was a type of melon. however when i tested it, it was none..... I had not clue what it was, so unfortunately I put it in the bin as I couldn't find any information about it/. Will most certainly try this recipe :)

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post!

If you are unable to post a comment, please write to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com

Last but not the least, my name is Shireen & not Ruchik :-)