Milagu Vellam or Molugu vellam as we call it colloquially is a typical Kerala Iyer recipe, something similar to the popular Moru Kachiyathu. It is really very simple and can get ready in a jiffy if you have some curds handy. Milagu refers to Pepper and vellam means water, it’s nothing but a watery concoction of pepper and curds. Milagu vellam along with vazhaka chenai mezhukkuperatti, is a meal that is served to most convalescing mothers.
This dish was not made very frequently in my house, but it was a regular fare at my maternal grandparent’s home. My grandfather was very picky about what he ate and was very particular about the timings too. Lunch would be served exactly and 10:30 am, followed by tiffin anywhere between 2:30 to 3 pm and then dinner exactly at 8 pm. He would never snack on anything in between. Lunch would almost always consist of some coconut and dal based gravy like Sambar, Molagootal, Moru Kootan or Poricha Kuzhambu with some thoran, kootu or pachadi. Dinners would be lighter, (though he used to have only rice), wherein Rasam, Vatha Kuzhambu, Molagutiam or Milgu Vellam would be served along with a mezhukkuperatti. So, that’s how I got introduced to this dish and ever since it has been my comfort food. What is yours?
Serves – 3 to 4
What you’ll need
- Thick Curd – 1 Cup, (preferably a day or 2 old, should be slightly sour)
- Pepper Powder – ½ tsp
- Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
- Ghee – 1 tsp
- Curry Leaves - few
- Salt to taste
- Oil – 1 tsp
- Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
- Cumin Seeds – ½ tsp
- Fenugreek Seeds – ¼ tsp
- Dried Red Chilly – 1, broken
- In a bowl add the cup of curd and add an equal amount of water and whisk well. Keep it aside.
- In a vessel, add about ½ cup of water (100 ml), and add the turmeric powder and pepper powder. Mix well and place it on heat.
- Allow this to boil on medium flame till almost all the water has evaporated.
- Now add a tsp of ghee and mix very well. It will all come together.
- Reduce flame and slowly add the whisked curds, stirring all well.
- Simmer till the mixture starts frothing up. Don’t allow to boil.
- Now add some fresh curry leaves and remove from heat.
- Add salt to taste and mix well.
- For the tempering, heat a small frying pan with oil, add the mustard, cumin and fenugreek seeds, and lastly add the dried red chilly. Once the red chilly turns bright red, remove from heat and pour over the milagu vellam. (take care not to burn the fenugreek seeds, else they will give a bitter taste)
That’s it, serve warm with hot rice and any curry of your choice.