Thursday, June 22, 2006

I Want More and More Moru

A few months ago I had a wonderful meal at Pongal which was made even more wonderful when I tried a glass of moru, cold buttermilk seasoned with mustard seeds, chiles, and fresh cilantro. There is something about the combination of, sour, salty, and spicy seasonings that is at once refreshing and satisfying. I have tried to reproduce it a couple of times, and while I have not quite matched the platonic moru, I’ve had some very decent cool drinks for these endless sweltering days.

I was a little confused in my initial recipe crawl because it seems that the word “moru” can mean the drink I am seeking to replicate, or just buttermilk itself, or any number of curries and sambars made with a buttermilk base. I think I was able to come pretty close this time.

Approximate Moru

1 quart buttermilk

2 teaspoons neutral cooking oil

3 tablespoons shredded coconut

1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds

1-7 dried red chile pods (I used 2 medium-hot pods)

½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1 teaspoon oil

1 teaspoon brown or black mustard seeds

several sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped (1 or 2 tablespoons)

salt to taste, possibly a bit of sugar

Decant the buttermilk into a wide jug or bowl. Heat the first two teaspoons of oil in a small iron skillet and add the coconut, coriander, cumin, and chile. Stir and toast for several seconds. Transfer to a blender, or processor or other grinding device, and grind to a paste, adding a bit of water as necessary. Add the spice and coconut paste to the buttermilk.

In the same skillet, heat the last teaspoon of oil and add the mustard seeds. When they begin to sizzle and pop, stir them into the buttermilk. The hot oil sings beautifully when it hits the cold buttermilk. Add the herbs and about 1 ½ teaspoons of salt and possibly a tiny pinch of sugar. Serve chilled.

If I had had some around, I would have loved to have added a few slices of fresh ginger and some fresh green chiles to the first step. Many folks also add some raw diced onion to the finished drink, but I have been skipping that so far.

Find more cooling herbal potations at Weekend Herb Blogging.

Food and Drink, Recipes, Cooking, Food, Vegetarian, vegetables, ,,


Blogger Virginie said...

At first I thought you were talking about fish, as a "morue" is a "cod" in french? Very funny ! Your Moru sounds interesting. It's the first time I hear about it. Is it closed of the indian lassi ?

9:50 AM  
Blogger the chocolate lady said...

Ah, it depends which websites you believe. Some say it is simply another term for salty lassi and others see it as a different drink entirely. I agree with the second group. I did not provide links this time, because no one seemed to be talking about this drink quite the way I made it.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Kalyn said...

I LOVE abd buttermilk and cilantro too, so I am guessing I would like this a lot. I don't believe I've ever had anything quite like this before.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

mmmm. this looks good. i hope you don't mind if i post a link to this recipe on my blog?

4:16 AM  
Blogger the chocolate lady said...

Hi Kalyn,

It is indeed very different from almost all the (usually sweet) yogurt and buttermilk drinks we see regularly. I think you would really like this.

Thanks Anna,
Please do! I will be delighted. I also hope to follow up with a more authentic recipe.

12:30 PM  

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