Mor Milagai is a class of its own! I guess it's also referred to as Majjige Menasu/Balaka in kannada or can be translated as Yogurt Chillies or Moor Molagai in Tamil. This is a great combo with Peruguannam or Thayir Sadam. And not to say about eating these with Dal rice that hubby dear loves! Andhra is known for its affectation with chilies, be it red-green, or anything chili! So it was no surprise to see Athamma saying that hubby dear loves Majjiga mirapa with Pappu Annam.
Having grown up in Madras, I am more familiar with Moor Milagai. Have always loved eating these with the thayir sadam. Amma takes up this task come summer! One incident I remember was the first time that Amma was trying this out during my high school. We use aluminum utensils for deep frying and certain cooking and Amma thought drying these yogurt soaked chilies would be good in them, she did. Only to find that the chillies were leaving a very stark imprint in the utensils. She had to discard the vessel because of that. Other than those couple times, Amma had not attempted making these again.
So I was very excited at the prospect that Athamma wanted to make these at home. I believe she used to make these very regularly at their place. When she visits her daughter's place during summer, she comes back with a big batch of these Majjiga Mirapa Kayyalu and Biyam Vaduyallu because hubby dear loves these. I wanted to know how Amma used to make these and found them to be the same.
When we found ourselves with a big batch of long firm green chilies, we couldn't wait for long to make it. It was fun watching Athamma soaking these in curds every day and running around with the vessel to catch the sun in its zenith! She says these dry well when spread during the midday. And you can imagine how hot it would be any time of the day here! She also insisted I take all the different stages in its drying. But just my luck, excepting for a few shots, I am unable to locate the rest!
But apart from these, you also have the hotels here offering a handful when you order packed lunch. So I have my share always reserved with my colleagues who order typical tamilan meals. Mor Milagi is revered items and much in demand! But I make sure I have mine in the store always.
Here's how you go about it.
Firm Green Chillies - 10 nos
Curds/ Yogurt - 1 cup (first time)
Salt- 1 tsp
Method to prepare:
Wash and wipe the firm green chilies. Mix the salt to the curds and beat it to a smooth consistency. Slit the chilies in middle, make sure you don't completely cut them off from their stalks. If you want you can remove all the seeds.
Soak these chilies in curds for about 3 to 4 days. By then the chilies turn their colour.
Remove the chilies from the curds and dry these in the hot sun. By night, put them back in the vessel that has the curds. You can add more curds if you find them.
This way repeat for about 3-4 days. The chilies are completely pale yellow by the time they have absorbed enough curds and are dried well.
Store these in an airtight container. When required, fry these in medium hot oil, for a crisp tangy chili.
The temperature of the oil is important as if it's too hot, it will get over burnt or less heat, they don't get fried well. The result will be soggy chilies. So the right temperature is very important.
This is the basic way of doing it. At times the curds can be favoured with cumin, coriander or amchur powder. When chilies are soaked in this curds, it absorbs that taste.
Raw and Fried Mor Molaga with Curd Rice!