Saturday, February 18, 2012

Greens in Yogurt ( Akukoora Majjiga Pulusu) and a chance to make a difference!

One evening, we sat at the dinner table, my parents, Lisa (my friend) and I. I was talking about something and laughingly, Lisa said, "tu pagal hai! poori pagal!" ( you are mad, completely mad!) Turning to my parents now going into the living room to catch the news, she said, " She is SO unlike you". 
" I am , aren't I? but then, why won't I be? , Lisa, do you know my story?", I asked.
"Sure, sure, I know your stories" She said and burst out laughing
" No, no, not the stories  I tell to amuse.. I mean 'my' story" I insisted
"What do you mean?" She asked, intrigued
"Let me tell you" I said, arranging my facial expressions and launched into 'my story'
" One rainy night in July, Baba and Aai woke up to a terrible thunderstorm and rain.They stood in the  sheltered part of the patio and looked out, awed by the fury of the rain. It almost felt like the heavens were crying. as they stood looking out, Baba's eyes fixed themselves on some object  under the street lamp. "Poor puppy", he thought, stranded in this storm and then he heard a wail. He jumped like he was shot! A wail, on this rainy night! My Mother also looked shocked and both of them moved out into the patio, to get  a better look. And as they stood, looking for God-knows-what, the 'puppy' moved under the street lamp and revealed a tiny... hand?
Baba grabbed an umbrella and rushed out and ran to the lamp post and stood there, the umbrella falling from his hands...
It was a tiny baby, wrapped in some cloth and abandoned under the lamp post. He picked up the baby and asked, "  koi hai?..arey, kiska baccha hai ye?..." (hello? whose baby is this?)  only to be met by silence and the pitter patter of rain.
He took the baby home and they both looked at the pretty face, now calm after being held and comforted.
Baba could not take his eyes off the baby and when he did, he simply said to Aai, " she is my daughter, now"
And that, Lisa, is how I became a part of this family."
By now Lisa's eyes resembled the dinner plates we had placed in the sink, " I.. I.... didn't know.." she faltered
I nodded, " not many do", I said.
She sat, her chin in her palm, frown on her face, brooding. 
Aai walked in and asked her why she looked so serious and out came the reason! My Mom burst out laughing! " kiski baaton mein aa gayi tum, Lisa!? Yeh to pagal hai, pura bakwas karte rehti hai, nautanki hai yeh ladki!" (Did you actually believe her? she is mad and  is always spouting some kind of nonsense, loves all kinds of drama) 
I was rolling on the kitchen floor, with laughter! HAH! she swallowed it!  Even if just for that one second! Her face! Oh! 

I made up that story on the spur of the moment, just to pull Lisa's leg, just to see a range of emotions flit across her face. But what if.............? What if any of this was true?

What if I had been abandoned? 

When I think of that possibility, my heart grows cold with fear. Not to have known parental love. nothing can be as harsh as that. Not knowing  why I was abandoned, why I was so unwanted or if I was saved from some tragic accident and was the only survivor, so many questions, no answers. 

At such times I look up and thank Him, for my parents, for their endless love and sacrifices  for me, for everything I have, for my little boy and for keeping me alive, so I can love him, the way I was loved.

But what of the many children who are orphans? Who have not known, what you and I, my dear readers, have know all our life and also at some point taken for granted? 

Take a look at the other side, read about how you can make a difference.

Take a minute to look at these cheerful faces, look into the innocent eyes and read the story behind each.  

Take 10 minutes out of your schedule and Chip in and show your support for Vaidehi Ashram.

There are prizes  that you could win for the contribution you make, apart from the 
warmth it spreads in your heart. 

Do your bit today.

And after your soul is satisfied with the good deed, come back to try this tummy satisfying offering I have for you today.

1/2 cup Split Red Gram ( Toor Daal)
1/2 cup Bengal Gram (Chana Daal)
1 bunch Amaranth Leaves  or Spinach leaves, wash and chop finely
3 cups Thick Yogurt (plain), churned
1 Tbsp. Tamarind Pulp ( reduce amount if you are using Tamarind Concentrate)
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp.  Asafetida
3 Green Chillies , slit
1/2 cup Cilantro leaves , chopped fine
1 stem Curry leaves
2-3 Tbsp Ghee
3 Tbsp. Oil
Salt to taste

The Paste:
1/2 cup Fresh coconut, grated
2 inch Ginger piece
1/4  cup Cilantro leaves
3-4  Green chillies

The Tempering:
1 Tbsp Mustard seeds
6-8 Red chillies, nicked at tail, stalks retained

Cook the daals together in 3 cups of waater to a very soft consistency ( I use my pressure cooker). Add /2 cup water and churn well. Set aside

For the pastte, grind the ingredients to a fine paste, using  a little water.
Mix this paste into the  cooked daal and set aside.

In a  wok, heat oil and pop the mustard seeds. Lower the flame and add the red chillies

As the chillies  turn bright red, add the chopped greens. cover and simmer for 12-15 mins or until well done, stirring now and then

Add the tamarind, turmeric, asafetida and salt and simmer for a few minutes.

Add the churned daal mixture to which you have added the coconut paste, curry leaves, slit green chillies and cilantro leaves and continue to cook for a couple of minutes.

Finally, switch off the heat, stir in the ghee and yogurt *.

Serve with steamed rice.


  • Substitute Spinach leaves if you do not have Amaranth leaves
  • Use Chillies as per your tolerance level.
  • *Take the wok off heat and then add in the yogurt. I let my curry cool a little before adding yogurt. I  manage to curdle yogurt in such cases and so am extra careful.  If you are unsure how to, just do what I did, let the curry cool.
Enjoy the weekend! Peace out.

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  1. I too believed ur story first and then realized u r a master at pulling legs:))

    Now coming back to ur recipe,it looks just awesome..Great clicks...Healthy one...

    1. Hahahaha! you too Ramya!
      Thanks for ur kind words.

  2. A lovely write up Manase, and a what a beautiful recipe. I have to definitely try it out. I am always trying to find new ways of eating greens, and this is so perfect. I can imagine it was unbelivably flavourful too!

  3. This looks awesome and yummy


  4. U should write more stories.. and god bless your dear frnd..poor girl...Pedtaha tuzhya var savar aahe.. ajoon ek mast recipe...go on girl.. we r waiting for more.
    Love Ash.

  5. such a beautifully woven message... it got me thinking. truly we are blessed to get the unconditional love of our parents. the dal looks scrumptious, comfort food

  6. hey just stumbled upon ye blog and i love it..will try some recipes and let ye noe..following ye for sure. do check my new blog aswell.

  7. I recently read a great article about giving the unconditional love back to our parents... the dal looks delish!

  8. looking great n iam sure i tastes best...vl try this 4 sure.....

  9. Delicious n healthy looking recipe,sounds so yummy.

  10. Beautiful post & tasty recipe too!!!

  11. Replies
    1. Thank You, sensible Vegetarian, I hope I can make something nice for the event. Will hunt around and link it!

  12. Manasi, strange trick indeed to play on a friend. :) Desi loves greens in yogurt-- your version sounds a little different from the one I usually make (with tofu yogurt), so I have to try this.

  13. first time here glad to follow you ... very tasty majjiga pulusu ...
    visit my blog

  14. Luv the pulusu..Nice picture..Glad to follow ur space

  15. Its been so long since I read ur blog! Lovely:)
    I too am waiting to make this but my kids do not eat leaves:(

  16. A delicious dish! A mouthwatering combination.




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