Simply South! Ragi Muddhe (Finger Millet Balls) & Mutton Curry

Having balanced meals (and a variety of nutritious foods) eventually evolves into a healthy lifestyle and contributes to fitness of mind & body says my ex-dietician cum good friend. This encouraged me to explore all kinds of grains & legumes besides a whole range of vegetables & fruits. I am more of a 'grains' kind of a person - I love to explore that department more than I would buy a variety of vegetables even if they stare at me from the various shelves in the supermarket.

I introduced Ragi to my son when I weaned him & he managed to eat the Ragi porridge for about a year before he started throwing up at the sight of it. I re-introduced it in a more liquidy form when he turned 2 and he's been fine since then. I thought I should introduce this humble grain into our daily diet as well and off I went hunting for the recipe of the Ragi Muddhe which is eaten in most of Karnataka (except the coast) & Andhra Pradesh. Commonly known as the poor man's bread in these parts of India, today it has become popular for it's health benefits and is finding its way into kitchens and even foodstuff such as noodles and upma! Its also known to be strengthening & cooling - very beneficial for all ages especially infants, elderly and pregnant women. Give it a try if Ragi is available where you live.

Ragi Muddhe & Mutton Curry:

You Need:
For the ragi muddhe
For the mutton curry


To make the ragi muddhe
1. In a thick bottomed pan mix 2 cups of water and 1 tbsp rice flour+1tbsp ragi. This is done to avoid lumps while the mixture boils.
2. Place the pan over a flame of medium high heat and bring the water to a boil. Add the remaining ragi flour. Do not mix. Leave it for about 6-7minutes when the water will slowly bubble over the flour. Leave it for another 2-3 minutes & then using a wooden spatula mix the mixture. Reduce flame & keep mixing till the mixture comes together like a ball.
3. Remove from flame, remove contents on a plate & allow to cool off for a few minutes till it is ok for you to handle the dough. Form into palm size balls & serve.

To make the mutton curry
1. Heat some oil & fry the onions till golden brown. Add the ginger & garlic & fry for 2 mins.
2. Grind this along with the powders, coconut, tomato & coriander leaves - to a fine paste
3. Heat some more oil in the pan & toss in the curry leaves and stir on slow flame till you get a nice aroma.
4. Add the meat & salt & fry for about 5minutes & add the ground masala, mix well & if you have precooked the meat in a pressure cooker add the stock (I follow this method as pressure cookers speeden up cooking time). If you are adding uncooked meat, then add about a cup of water & cook it on slow-medium flame for about 30-40minutes. Check in between, stir & add little quantities of water to assist the meat to cook well & not stick to the bottom of the pan.
5. For precooked meat, allow the meat to stew a bit in the ground masala for about 5minutes on sim. Switch off flame & serve hot with   RagiMuddhes!                                                                                                     

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