Majjige Huli (Cucumber Yogurt Curry)

I’m so excited to share this recipe from my Aunt Karen, whose son, Pradeep, actually shared a beet recipe on the site a couple weeks back. Her majjige huli (pronounced mudge-a-gay hool-i) recipe is one that she learned from my grandmother in Bangalore and has tweaked over the years. I had a taste of it at Thanksgiving last year and couldn’t get enough so I’ve asked her to share it here.

 

Majjige huli is a yogurt curry made from cilantro, green chilis, coconut, soaked lentils and spices and it can be made with different vegetables – cucumber, squash, eggplant, etc. This dish is rarely found in restaurants and is eaten mostly in South Indian homes. What I love about it is first of all it’s bright green:) and second, I’ve really never tasted anything like it. It’s herby, cooling and really flavorful and goes well as a complement to spicy dishes. I also like that it’s a cooked yogurt curry, which is unique.

 

My Aunt Karen didn’t grow up in India so when she married my mother’s eldest brother and moved there, she started to collect many of our family recipes by watching our relatives. I admire her because she came to India at a young age and learned to cook and speak the language (which I can’t say I can even do). She’s also a gifted artist, and among other projects, she makes handmade drawings and cards inspired by Madhubani art, a style of painting from Bihar, India. This is one of her drawings and you can read more about them here:

 

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© 2011 Karen Vasudev. All rights reserved

 

I hope you enjoy her awesome recipe! I like to eat it with rice and pickle.

 

Majjige Huli (Cucumber Yogurt Curry)
courtesy of Karen Vasudev

 

Ingredients
1-3 green Serrano chilies (to taste based on size and desired “hotness”)
1/2 bunch green coriander leaves washed and cleaned
1/4 cup of a fresh coconut OR 1/3 cup unsweetened desiccated dry coconut
1/4 cup roasted channa dal*
1/8 to 1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2-3/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 red chilies
2 sprigs curry leaves (optional)
3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1” wide pieces
1 1/2 cups of plain yogurt** (natural style without gelatin or other additives)
Salt to taste***
1 tsp oil for tempering

 

*You can use chenna dhal soaked in hot water for 15 mins. if you don’t have roasted channa dal.

 

 

**The amount of yogurt can be adjusted to taste based on spiciness.
***Cucumber water has salt in it, so taste before adding more salt

 

Method
Peel the cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and cut in half again lengthwise. Then cut into 1” wide pieces.

 

Boil in salted water until tender (about 10-15 mins.). Cover for the last 3-4 minutes. Drain but retain about 1 cup of the water and set aside to cool.

 

Meanwhile, in a blender container add the following ingredients in the following order: roasted channa dal, coconut, green chilies, coriander leaves, turmeric, cumin seeds, and leaves from 1 sprig of the curry leaves. Now slowly add the cup of cooled cucumber water and blend to a smooth paste – add just enough of the remaining cucumber water as needed to keep the blender blades moving.

 

Whisk the yogurt to a smooth consistency and add the blended mixture to it. Continue to whisk until well blended. Taste to adjust salt. Add the cooled cucumber pieces and stir to mix.

 

In hot oil, fry the mustard seeds till they pop (use lid to prevent spattering). Immediately reduce the heat, add curry leaves from the remaining curry leaf sprig and the red chilies. Heat for about 30 seconds. Immediately add to the yogurt mixture and mix well.

 

This can be served either cold or at room temperature.

 

Other vegetables that can be used: boiled potatoes; boiled Chinese winter melon (ash gourd); stir fried okra pieces; or stir fried Japanese eggplant.

 

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