Kezhvaragu or Raagi is a vital food in many parts of south India. There are umpteen number of recipes of Ragi flour but to say this particular combination is very rarely found.
So I decided to post it today as this is made atleast one in a week at home. Amma makes it with very less oil that makes it a healthy breakfast. Appa who is a diabetic insists on this breakfast atleast once in a week. The fresh drumstick leaves wilted with littles oil and chopped onions gives a crunchy and chewy tough to the soft rotis. We can make them cripser too as I like it that way.
Recently we planted a drumstick tree in our gardedn and we were able to get fresh tender leaves as and when we want (one of my dreams after coming to Chennai). I don’t know why many people who own a drumstick tree never offers even a sprig or two even if we request for kids food. This house were we live have some backyeard space in which we planted a stick from a neighbour. It started growing well and its a delight to pluck home grown greens and cook fresh.
For the drumstick leaves, do not wash them logn before they could get into the cooking vessel. Wahs them just before throwing into the vessel as when dipped in water the leaves become numb and does not cook properly. Also we never used to pluck leaves on or next to a rainy day for the same reason.
And coming to the recipe here it is.
Ragi flour – 1 cup
Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
Peanut oil – 1 T spoon
Onion – 1 small size (chopped finely)
3-4 sprigs of drumstick leaves plucked into 2 inch length (along with the stem if they are tender else take the leaves alone)
dried red chilles pluck into 2-3 pieces – 1
mustard and cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
Urad dal – 1 teaspoon
How to make it?
In a tawa heat the oil and once hot put the mustard and cumin seeds. When they start to splutter add the urad dal and split red chillies. Fry them for few seconds and add the chopped onions. Once they start wilting add the drumstick leaves and saute till they wilt. Switch off the stove and add this mix to the ragi flour. Sprinkle salt and with 2 – 3 T spoon of water start mixing the flour to make a soft dough. Add water one T spoon at a time till the dough is soft. It should be spreadable on a sheet by pressing with fingers.
You can spread them directly on the hot tawa (needs a lot of practice) or use a plantain leaf of a plastic sheet and spread a lemon ball sized dough into thin rotis. Place them on a hot tawa and drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of peanut oil. Let it cook in low flame then turn it to the other side and cook until crisp.
Serve hot. It can be had on its own but coconut chutney will be a good pair. But I would say a dry fish kozhumbu makes the best pair 😉