Green Yogurt Curry w/ Summer Squash (Majjige Huli)

We’ve been experiencing a pretty intense heat wave on the East coast with temperatures hitting the 100s, which was all the reason to prepare my mom’s recipe for majjige huli, a South Indian green yogurt curry made from ground coconut, cilantro, green chilis and spices.  Usually my mother prepares this dish with watery squashes like chayote or ash ghourd or eggplant, and in the past I’ve shared my Aunt Karen’s recipe for majjige huli using cucumbers.

This is one of my most favorite dishes that is rarely found in restaurants and primarily prepared in Bangalore homes.  It’s closest cousin is Thai green coconut curry, but combined with a cold cucumber soup.  It’s so flavorful and super healthy for you. The recipe calls for only 2 teaspoons of oil.  You can also prepare majjige huli with buttermilk. This time I did a combo of yogurt and buttermilk because that’s what I had.

Summer is when my fridge is stocked to the brim with summer squashes from the farm share so I applied those to the majjige huli recipe I had.

The texture worked out really well and in order to get the right tenderness for the squash, I cut them and steamed them.  I’ve found that this is the most efficient way to cooking pieces of squash uniformly.

After steaming I threw them into a cold ice bath to stop them from cooking.

Also got a small bunch of cilantro that I used in the recipe.  Fresh cilantro really makes a difference.

Along with the coconut, chilis and cilantro, you also grind in black mustard seeds, cumin, turmeric and roasted chana dal.  On the left is chana dal and on the right is roasted chana dal. If you don’t have the roasted kind, you can soak the one on the left in hot water for 15 minutes and use that as a substitute.

Serve your majjige huli with rice and enjoy!

Green Yogurt Curry w/ Summer Squash (Majjige Huli)

1 1/2 pounds summer squash (yellow or green zucchini), cut 1/2 inch thick rounds with large pieces cut again in half
3 cups yogurt (or combo yogurt and buttermilk)
small bunch cilantro leaves
1/2 cup frozen fresh grated coconut, thawed
2 tablespoons chana dal
2-3 green chilis
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
salt to taste
for tempering
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
pinch of hing / asafetida
1 dried red chili
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
4 fresh curry leaves
In a pan, fit a steamer with water below, but just at a level that is below the steamer and not touching it.  Place cut summer squash in the steamer basket.  Turn the heat to medium/high and when the water starts to boil, turn to medium and cover.  Steam for about 15 minutes or until tender.   Immediately immerse the squash in a bowl of cold water to avoid overcooking.
In a blender, put in the chana dal and grind until powder.  Have about a 1 cup of water by the blender.  Add in coconut, green chilies, cilantro, cumin seed, black mustard seeds, turmeric powder and slowly add water as needed so that you can a well ground paste.  You want this to be as smooth as possible but by adding in enough water. For this recipe, I added in about 3/4 cup water.  When you have a nice paste, add in your yogurt and/or buttermilk.  Blend this well.
In a pan place the steamed summer squash, the yogurt curry and salt to taste.  Put the heat on medium.  You want the mixture to boil once.  At this time, turn the heat off.
In a small saucepan, heat the oil under medium heat and add in the hing, black mustard seeds and cumin seeds.  When the mustard seeds start to pop and the cumin seeds start to brown, turn the heat to low and add in your curry leaves and dried red chili, broken in half.  Coat everything with oil and pour this oil mixture on top of the yogurt curry.
Serve majjige huli with hot rice.  You can also chill it if you like, but traditionally at home, we would eat it after it was just prepared.
*When eating curry the next day, do not heat it.

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