Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mosaravalakki - creamy yogurt poha to celebrate the birth of baby Krishna

There was once a small kid named Gopal who lived in a village with his widowed mother, they were poor and hardly made ends meet with the mother's meager earnings. When Gopal grew up to be old enough to go to school, his mother had one of the neighboring village teacher take him as a student in his school. Gopal had to walk through dense forests to reach his teacher's house every day, as his mother couldn't leave work and go with him, the little boy had to walk all alone. When he returned home the first day he was tired and completely scared. He didn't want to go back to school because of the long walk in the dark forests and his mother told him to call out to Krishna and said he was Gopal's elder brother who lived in the forest. The next day Gopal came back home and excitedly explained to his mother that his brother Krishna had come and walked with him until the edge of the forest, the mother was completely flabbergasted. This continued for the entire school year and Gopal was a happy child learning well at his school.

As the school year came to an end, the teacher organized a lunch for the students and told them to bring something special from home to share with all their friends. When Gopal asked his mother, the poor lady was very sad as she had nothing to send with him, so in order to pacify the crying boy she told him to ask his brother for something. Gopal went on his way, met his brother in the forest just like everyday and told him about the school lunch. The elder brother went inside the forest and came back with a small covered pot. Gopal went merrily to the school and gave it to his teacher. The teacher looked at the small pot and realized it wasn't going to be sufficient even for a couple of boys let alone the entire school but didn't say anything to the child. When everyone sat down for lunch, the teacher opened the pot and found thick, creamy, sweet smelling yogurt inside. He wanted to distribute atleast a drop of it to each kid and started spooning it out to another dish with the intention of thinning it down by adding water. But to his utter surprise he found that the small pot never seemed to become empty. He had his wife bring huge containers and as they went on filling those containers, the little pot was still full seeming to smile divinely at them. Everyone had their fill with the yummy tasting yogurt and thanked little Gopal.

This is a story from my childhood favorite Amar Chitra Katha comic books. I have told this to my daughter countless number of times. For me Krishna is synonymous with avalakki (beaten rice or poha) and mosaru(yogurt). Mosaravalakki is thick yogurt mixed with paper thin avalakki and garnished with seasoning. This was one of the treasured childhood snacks. One of my doddamma's (mom's older sister) didn't eat rice in the night and most days this would be her dinner and mosaravalakki is always distributed to everyone and never eaten alone. We used to sit expectantly and patiently in the kitchen until she mixed it well and dropped big dollops of the creamy mosaravalakki into our palms, I used to lick slowly and try to extend the moment of bliss for as long as I could :-).
Today is celebrated as Gokulashtami (Gokula~ Lord Krishna's Childhood home, Ashtami~Eighth day of the calendar) or Krishnashtami all over India to mark the birth of Lord Krishna. I made the mosaravalakki as an offering to the God.

I pack this in place of regular yogurt rice for a change when we go on our trips, it stays well. Just carry extra yogurt to mix in before eating.

What do you need to make Mosaravalakki? 
4-5 cups thick yogurt (preferably homemade)
1 cup paper thin avalakki/beaten rice
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1/2 Tsp sugar
1 Tblsp oil
1 Tsp mustard
1 Tsp chana dal/kadle bele
1/2 Tsp urad dal/uddina bele
2 green chilies - chopped small
4-6 curry leaves
1/2 inch piece of ginger root - peeled and chopped into thin julienes
How do you make Mosaravalakki? 
  • Take avalakki in a bowl and wash it under running water once and drain the water. 
  • Whisk the yogurt, add salt, sugar and the washed avalakki and mix well.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add all the ingredients under seasoning and let mustard pop and dals turn pink. 
  • Pour the sizzling seasoning on top of the mixed mosaravalakki and mix it in. 
  • Share and enjoy this simple yet unbeatable tasty dish.
  • Do not skimp on the yogurt, good yogurt takes this dish to its next level, remember it is mosaravalakki and takes lot of yogurt to get the creamy texture.
  • If you do not have home made yogurt, use plain store bought yogurt.
  • Use only the extra thin or paper thin avalakki in this recipe, the thinker varieties change the texture.
  • It is sufficient to just wash the avalakki once in running water for it to become soft.
  • While making the seasoning, make sure the chili pieces turn light brown. If you do not like spicy food, reduce/skip green chilies.
  • You can add cashew nuts to the seasoning and roast it until they turn pink for a richer flavor, I kept it simple.
  • You can add chopped cilantro instead of curry leaves and asafoetida instead of ginger for different flavors.
  • The yogurt gets absorbed if you keep it longer, add more yogurt and mix it to bring the right consistency.


Prathibha said...

I made even this yesterday for gokulashtami..almost similar recipe..would post mine in d next week..loved that story,refreshed my old memory of hearing that story

NamsVeni Pothas said...

very nice prasaadam and the story also. masuravalakki is my favorite. best wishes to all Sattvaa readers. Krishna blesses you all.

Nandita SS said...

Mosaeavalakki looks wonderful. I can have this any time of the day :)

Turmeric n Spice said...

Lovely story !!

Turmeric n Spice said...

Lovely story

Vani said...

I'd forgotten that story. will narrate to my daughter soon, thanks :) Mosaru avalakki looks good!

Jay said...

looks awesome...will def be a must try for me..
Tasty Appetite

Nagashree said...

Thank you all for visiting, hope you are having a good weekend, see you next week with more stories (ahem recipes).