By itself, the mudde (or balls) does not have taste except for the salt added to it but it is usually paired with a spicy, slightly thick broth such as bassaaru or other gravy items. This ball is not chewed but dunked in the gravy and gulped down the throat :-), so if you have never had it, it takes some practice. Nammamma never learnt the trick of gulping mudde bites while us kids followed Anna and enjoyed it. Now, while DD & I love our raagi mudde with bassaaru and adept at the technique of eating it, BH is still working on his skills of eating it right. So a trivia conclusion is that the genes can be transferred from father to daughter (as in my case) or mother to daughter (as in my daughter's case) :-)
Raagi mudde or cooked finger millet balls had been available only at homes when we were kids but on my recent visits to Bengaluru, I saw places glorifying and touting this healthy, nutritious and very filling dish. My experience with one of the restaurants which claimed to serve authentic Malnad food (for starters, raagi mudde is not from Malnad region) had a really bad looking mudde which was not even a decent mudde/ball but wiggling like jelly :-). I am grateful that I only saw it on someone else's thali and not mine.
I like my mudde soft yet firm. While the consistency is somewhat personal preference, the important thing is to make sure the flour is cooked well. If you are looking for back to basics, raagi mudde is as basic as it can get. Easy to prepare, uses just 3 ingredients (not counting the water of course) and keeps you full for a long time. Give this earthy dish a try and enjoy a wholesome meal.
If you haven't made raagi mudde or seen it being made, I strongly urge you to read through the notes. I made sure I put a lot of helpful tips in there. I am not very happy with my pictures right now but I did the best as everyone was waiting at the dining table, will try to update pictures when I next make raagi mudde.
What do you need to make Raagi mudde?
1 cup raagi flour/finger millet flour
1.5 cups water
1/2 Tsp oil
1/2 Tsp salt
How do you make Raagi mudde?
- Take water, salt and oil in a thick bottom sauce pan and let it come to a gentle boil.
- Pour the raagi flour into the water, reduce heat and let cook for 4-5 minutes.
- The water will bubble up and surround the dry flour completely, do not mix it before this happens.
- Once you see only a small tip of the dry flour mound, mix it vigorously with the back of a sturdy wooden spoon and bring it to a single mass.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan partially and cook for another 5-6 minutes.
- The color of the raagi mudde changes from light brown to dark brown when it cooks.
- Take off the stove, smear your palms with a drop of oil and scoop out the raagi mass and make it into a ball.
- Pinch off small pieces of the mudde, dunk it completely in the gravy, put it in your mouth and gulp it down. Doesn't sound appetizing? Trust me on this and give it a try and I am sure you will become a fan.
- We had our raagi mudde with bassaaru and a side of palya.
- It is important to wait until the dry flour gets covered with boiling water so it gets cooked partially.
- Hold the pan tightly in one hand (my father used to hold it between his two feet to get a good grip while moving the wooden ladle with his hands) and mix it well so it doesn't form small flour knots - these do not cook well and makes raagi mudde taste bad.
- Watch the change in color of raagi mudde as you let it cook, you can also pinch off a small portion between your fingers, if it is sticky it needs to cook further.
- While making balls, put your hands in cold water to help manage the heat.
- You can enjoy raagi mudde with gravies that do not have a lot of vegetables so it is easier to dip the mudde pieces and coat it with the gravy.
- The ratio of raagi flourto water is 1:1.5 but may change slightly depending on the quality of the raagi flour. Whenever I get a new brand of flour, I usually take 1/2 cup water out of the vessel before adding the flour and then reuse it while cooking the mudde. This way you can be guaranteed with the right consistency.
- If the mudde after mixing in the flour seems very liquidish, add a Tblsp more of flour, mix it well and let cook. If the mudde seems hard (you will notice the difficulty while mixing it in), sprinkle some water and mix it.