This is the popular street food recipe from Tirunelveli called mochai. A healthy semi dry gravy with mochai prepared in streetside pushcarts across many places in Tirunelveli and Tuticorin.
Until recently I never had a chance to taste this mochai but my husband tasted it many times during their school days. During last month's trip to Tirunelveli, we tasted this mochai masala near Murappanaadu river. It was delicious and my son asked me to prepare this mochai for his snack box. This roadside mochai masala is made with boiled mochai beans (Lima beans), lots of onions, ginger and green chillies. As mochai beans have a slightly bitter taste, hence you have to use plenty of onions for this masala . You have to use dried mochai for this masala. To spice up this masala you have to add a good amount of green chillies and ginger which gives a nice flavour and tastes yummy. This mochai masala makes a filling and comforting dish for breakfast or evening snack. I prepared this mochai in a semi dry consistency, as a snack but according to your preferences you can vary the consistency. You can also serve this masala with poori, chapathi, or dosa or simply as a sundal.
Roadside Mochai Masala - Tirunelveli Style Mochai Recipe
Prep time : 10 minutes
Cook time : 20 minutes
Serves : 4
Category : Side-dish/snacks
Author : Muthulakshmi Madhvakishnan
- 1 cup mochai payaru (dried)
- 2 onion (thinly sliced)
- 4 green chilly
- 1/2 tbsp ginger (finely chopped)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp besan flour
- few curry leaves
- 1/2 tsp mustard
- 1/2 tsp urid dal
- few coriander leaves
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp oil
Wash and soak mochai for 8 to 10 hours. After 8 hours once again wash them and add it to a pressure cooker. Add enough water and pressure cook for 8 to 10 whistles. Allow the pressure to settle down naturally and check that they are cooked until soft or once again pressure cook for another 10 minutes.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan or kadai. Add mustard and urid dal. Let them crackle. When urid dal turns golden, add finely chopped ginger and green chillies. You can reduce the amount of green chillies if you want. Then add thinly sliced onions and curry leaves. Stir and mix well. Saute the onions on medium heat till they turn translucent. After a few minutes, add turmeric powder and stir well.
Now add besan flour. Mix the besan flour well with the onions.
Then add the cooked mochai along with the required salt and stir very well. Add 1/2 cup water. You can adjust the amount of water depending upon the consistency you want.
If you want a thinner gravy, add another 1/2 cup water. Cook the masala on low heat for 5 minutes. Finally add chopped coriander leaves and turn off the heat.