MOR KOOZHU (PORRIDGE) and FUN WITH 'ZH’
This is yet another dish which has to be spelt with a 'ZH' syllable. Many words of Tamizh (Tamil), when written in English are forced to use the syllable 'ZH', for want of a closer match to the pronunciation. Kozhambu, Kozhal Puttu, Vazhapazham… the list goes on. My fourteen year old grandson has a flair for languages. He wondered how readers could correctly pronounce the names of the dishes which had a 'ZH' in the spelling. He has made the notes given below for convenience and correct pronunciation!
The 'Z' or 'ZH' in the word is called as a PALATAL AND RETROFLEX consonant. To pronounce 'ZH' , the sound 'AA' is made after rolling the tongue backward (retroflex) and by pushing the tongue against the upper palate (palatal).
We had great fun when we tried to say ‘ZH’ without rolling the tongue backwards which resulted in just an ‘AA’ sound, rather than ‘ZH’! I am happy to write this note as it has been ‘tested and tried’ by us to everybody’s amusement and intrigue at home!
Now coming to MOR KOOZHU (say 'u' using a palatal retroflex!!), it is one of the very easy and quick recipes using rice flour as the main ingredient. My great grandmother who lived up to her 96th year enjoyed the dish, and it was often for tiffin at home. The gingili (sesame) oil used in the recipe is non-carcinogenic. It has a very good nutritional value, enhances HDL (good cholesterol) as well as has the property of reducing the LDL (bad cholesterol).
Gingili oil has a very important place in AYURVEDA (the Indian medical science). Gingili seeds and the oil extracted from it have been in use since 2000 years. Fresh gingili oil has the colour of honey and has a very pleasant aroma. The name ‘NALLA ENNAI’ in Tamil means ‘Good Oil’. Hence gingili oil can be used without any hesitation or reservation.
'MOR MILAGAI' used in the recipe are readily available green chillies, that are soaked in spiced curd, and then sun dried. These sun dried chillies are usually fried until crisp and used as a side dish. Indian Stores should stock this.
Rice flour – 2 cups
Sour curds – 1 1/2 cups
Salt – 1 ½ tsp
Gingili oil – ¼ cup.Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Black gram dal – 1 tsp
Bengal gram dal – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Curry leaves -10
Red chillies – 4
Mor Milagai - 2
Freshly grated coconut – ½ tea cup
1. Mix salt, curd and rice flour, adding water to make a batter which is little more watery than the normal dosa batter consistency.
2. Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds and asafoetida.
3. When the mustard splutters add the dals and roast till golden in colour.
4. Break and add the red chillies and the mor milagai.
5. When the chillies become crisp add the curry leaves.
6. Now add the curd and rice flour batter and keep stirring.
7. Continue stirring to avoid lumps till it becomes a thick ball and leaves the sides of the kadai.
8. Spread the Mor Koozhu on a deep plate, and sprinkle the freshly grated coconut on it.
9. Cut into Cubes or any other desired shape and savour with fried mor milagais.