Melara is one of our specialities, only found in our community and must in our functions or any festivity. Melara has different names according to the region from which we belong to such as Kayi Huli / Majjige Huli. This post was long due and glad to be able to post at least now.
Kayi is nothing but Coconut. Here, fresh coconut ( which is known as Hasi kayi/ not dried/should be filled with coconut water, not dehydrated one) is ground without any masala and added to cooked veggie , lastly one serving spoon of slightly sour buttermilk or beaten curd has been added and seasoned.
Melara can be done with extremely limited choices of vegetables. Well known suitable vegetables which can be used in this curry are, Ivy gourd, Tender Mangalore coloured cucumber( which should be green and white) , Ivy gourd and Mangalore cucumber mixed together, Yam alone or with White Kabuli Chana , Bread fruit ,Giant Taro alone or with White Kabuli chana, White Bitter gourd , Red Amaranth greens, yard long beans, brined raw jackfruit etc are some of our traditional “qualified” vegetables to cook melara.
As time passes by, even this list has some additional English vegetables 😉 (Yes! Other than our native veggies are known by this name) like Raw green tomato, Capsicum, potato, and beans)
Now we would move towards the recipe –
Ivy gourd – 500 grams ( Or Vegetable of your choice)
Green chillies – 2
Grated fresh coconut – from ½ to ¾ coconut
Thick buttermilk – 1 serving spoon
Coconut oil – 2 tsp
Mustard – 1 tsp
Red chilli -1
Curry leaves – 1 string
-Wash ivy gourd ,chop into 4 pieces lengthwise. Cook with just enough water to immerse, by adding salt, slit green chillies.
-Make a really fine paste of fresh grated coconut. When veggie cooks, add this ground masala, adjust the consistency and boil for 2 minutes.
-Add buttermilk or beaten curd and when it starts to boil, switch off.
-Prepare seasoning, heat oil, splutter mustard, add red chilli and curry leaves fry and pour over melara.