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Marathi moggu

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A friend recently gifted me with a bagful of this spice.  As I understand it's a caper bud, just younger and dried.  Any masalas this would work in?  Dishes?  

--jim

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This dagad phool aka kalpasi aka marathi moggu.Used in chettinad cuisine.

Chettinadu masala [url="http://www.ndtvcooks.com/recipes/vegetablerecipe.asp?id=212"]Here[/url]

I saw the chef making this on TV and immediately hunted down the recipe.Its wonderful.This does make more masala than you need for this dish but you can freeze the rest (will spoil becoz of coconut)

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Thanks for the link, Ravum!  I did a little more googling, and there's definitely a wide variety of info on translating this spice.  I think in Hindi this might also be called badi laung.  Will give the Chettinad masala a go round. :)  

--jim

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Jim,
I hope you (and others) can clarify my confusion about marathi moggu. You write that it is the dried bud of a caperand Ravum replies that it is the same as dagad phool,and then you ask if it is 'badi laung'.

Okay, here goes: a fairly involved discussion on another forum seemed to conclude that dagad phool was a type of lichen, possibly collected in central India, used in some Maharashtrian spice mixes.

Re:capers, there  are Indian capers especially in theRajasthan desert. The genus name is Capparis, the speciesname escapes  me at themoment, but the common name in the dialect of Sikar district is 'phog', and this name is widespread in Marwar [Churu, Pali & Sikar districts of Rajasthan]. I think in Haryana, this same phog is also known as 'teent', and under that name is found as the seedy berries in Punjabi-style  Pachranga pickles.

I had not known that Indian caper plant buds were also utilized as spices, or as buds, and would be very excited to learn more of this particular use. If your bag of moggu is entire, it would be very simple to determine if it is a caper bud or a lichen. A small sample, like 1 gram, to  a university plant anatomy laboratory, would solve this issue.

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This is what I think is marathi moggul-
[img]http://www.gourmetindia.com/img/mm.jpg[/img]

I'll post a picture of Dagad phool later.

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Thanks, Suresh,

That picture establishes moggu to be a bud [of a flowering plant] and not a lichen.

In the Chettinad masala recipecited above, we find:

"gently shallow .roast ....... kalpasi bark, star anise seeds, ....

Grind the shallow roasted spices to a fine paste. The Chettinadu masala is ready."

Here, Kalpasi bark is being referred to.

Ravum had equated Moggu with Kalpasi with dagad phool.

Let us assume that Moggu is not identical with dagad phool.

Then, the question remains, is Kalpasi bark got from the same plant that provides the Moggu bud?

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Suresh's photo matches the same spice I have.  

[url="http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/2001/09/22/stories/1322110a.htm"]Here's a news article on the lichen.[/url]

Of course, you know what I'd be interested in next, don't you?  Pictorial documentation of our friend kalpasi!  I think that might look quite nice in our gallery, next to the suran.   :)

--jim

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The last time I saw stone flower/dagad phool/kalpasi was in the hills of Ooty. It was embedded on a rock and was gray coloured. I have some stock at home but my logistics manager - Miss Rathna, has been unable to reconcile the coordinates.

As soon as it is unearthed I shall post the pic.

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Dagad Phool/Stone Flower/Patthar phool
aka Parmelia Perlata

[img]http://www.gourmetindia.com/img/dagad.jpg[/img]

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Suresh,

That image of dagad phool unequivocally shows it to be a lichen.

I don't know about the magnification used, but roughly speaking, a thumbnail sized piece of lichen could take decades to reach that size. This is to emphasize how slowly they grow;  plus, they are very sensitive to air pollution.

Air pollution is growing in India; I have pictures from the journal  Science showing upper atmosphere images of a solid brown over the subcontinent!  Both China and the subcontinent are paying a yield penalty in their agriculture, even as they work hard to improve gross yield and total productivity [the efficiency with agricultural inputs are used]!

Anyway, slow-growing lichens, susceptible to air pollution also face the threat of increasing demand for commercial uses. Some Himalayan lichens are used for making body dyes similar to mehndi. Now, as dagad phool gets popularised and caught up in the worldwide demand for Indian food, there is danger of  depleting it on its native growing areas.

I had never heard of dagad phool until this year, and now I am curious to give it a try. Publicity here as a certain deleterios effect, as many begin to learn of exotic spices and want to try them out. Just a gloomy-gus point of view!

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