Chunky Style Mossoppu

Of all my memories, those related to food are still the strongest. Once a foodie, always a foodie I guess.  When we lived in Shankarmutt, Mysore a few decades ago, it was a different world. We could hear our father's bike from more than a kilometer, way before we could see him. We could climb on to our terrace on Sunday to see if the palace had been lit up. We used to wait for that occasional candy, chocolate that came our way, so much so that we did keep its wrapper for a long time between the pages of our books. I had a particular fascination for HaalKova, a little snack that they sold by piece in small Kirana stores. My father never allowed me to buy it because he felt anything in open or which was not branded was unhygienic. So one day when my mother asked me to fetch a package of salt the Kirana store, I got one Haalkova for myself with the change. I savored every bit of it on my walk back home. Later at home obviously I could not substantiate the change I had with me and the package of salt. Amma promptly walked back to the store to check on the change. Oblivious to what was happening I was went about my day forgetting all about the change and the HaalKova. When Amma returned I understood hell hath no fury like a mother tricked!
That was it. My longing for Haalkova remained. I would look at the white one and the brown one wrapped in pieces of parchment paper tied with a piece of sting and drool at them hoping for a day when I did have my own money I would eat up a bunch of them. Money came, Money gone, but that craving still remaines a craving.

That reminds of the old couple who had cultivated a patch of greens in an adjoining plot. They had a small well at the very end of the plot and Spinach, dill, Fenugreek, Dantu, Chikke,Chakkota and a many other greens looked cheerful in neat parallel rows. When ever Amma wanted to make Mossoppu, she did ask me to run over to the old couple with a coin or two in hand and return with the two or three bundles that went into lunch that day. It was as fresh as it could get. That was the only Mossoppu I knew for a long time and realized what was lost only after our tryst with the one made of greens that were grown near sewage outlets as was common in the Bangalore at one point in time.  Here is a toast to that time, a Mossuppu made leisurely when the mood is to relive the years gone by.

 We will need,

Toor Dal 1/2 cup
Garlic  cloves chopped 2
Onion chopped 1
Tomato chopped 1

Green Chillies to taste
Mixed greens washed trimmed and chopped 4 cups tightly packed
Tamarind extract 3/4 to 1 tsp
Ghee 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Jeera 1/2 tsp
Hing a generous dash
Byadagi chillies 2-3 broken into smaller pieces
Salt to taste

  • Wash the Dal in several changes of water and pressure cook with 2 cups of water till the Dal falls apart. Set it aside.
  • Heat a tsp of Ghee in a Kadai and throw in the garlic. Once the garlic is golden in color, throw in the onion. Saute for a few minutes and throw in the tomatoes, green chillies and the chopped greens. Cook till the greens wilt down. Stir the mixture into the cooked dal
  • Put the Dal and greens mixture on low heat. Add a little water if the mixture is too thick. Throw in the tamarind extract and bring the mixture to a gentle boil.
  • For the Oggarane, heat the ghee, throw in the mustard seeds, Jeera and Hing. Once the spices splutter, throw in the Bydagi chillies and curry leaves and remove from fire. Pour the mixture in the simmering dal mixture.
  • Adjust salt, crush the green chillies with the back of a spatula and remove from heat. Serve hot with rice or Ragi Mudde.