Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Kootanchoru/Kootan Sadham/Mixed Vegetables, greens & Lentils Rice

This is my Amma’s another delicacy that is my father’s favourite. Its a traditional tirunelveli recipe that has been handed down for generations. My mom makes it during family gatherings as we all like it. Also when we all go for temple festival in Tirunelveli during our vacation my Periyamma used to make it in a giant pot (vengala paanai) on wood fire that tasted just yumm!
Anyways my mom makes it in pressure cooker 3ltrs,5ltrs,7ltrs or 10 ltrs depending on the members. Today she cooked and I clicked. As I am in my mom’s place I will be posting all her delicacies made by her and captured by me for a while.
Ponni rice-2 cups
Toor Dal-1/2 cup
Tamarind-lemon sized ball
Mixed vegetables-3 cups (carrots, beans, brinjals, drumstick and potato cut lengthwise)
Raw mango/green mango/mangai-3 pieces
Drumstick leaves and Arai Keerai-1 cup
Turmeric powder-1 tsp
Salt –as needed
To Grind:
Red Chillies- 8-10
Coconut-1 cup
Cumin seeds/jeera-1tsp
Garlic pods-4
To Temper:
Mustard seeds-1 tbsp
Urad dal-1 tbsp
Curry leaves-1 sprig
Kari vadagam/onion vadagam-3
Shallots-1/2 cup, chopped
Oil-3 tbsp

How It Happened:
1. Cut the vegetables in lengthwise and keep them in water so they don’t change colour. Soak the tamarind in ½ cup of water for an hour. Then extract the juice and remove the leftover tamarind.
2. Take all the ingredients given under the ‘to grind’ list in a blender jar and grind them to a smooth paste. Wash and soak the rice and dal for ½ hour in 5 & ½ cups of water.
3. Take a big enough pressure cooker; add the rice & dal along with salt and turmeric powder. Add the water in which rice and dal was soaked. Close with the lid and cook in medium flame until the steam starts coming.
4. Remove the lid; add the vegetables, coconut paste, tamarind extract, raw mango pieces, drumstick leaves and arai keerai. Mix well and close the lid, put on the pressure stopper/weight and cook in medium flame for 1 whistle.
5. Simmer the flame and cook for 7-8 minutes. Switch off the flame and wait until the pressure is completely released.
6. Heat oil in a kadai add ingredients under the ‘to temper’ list except the vadagam and when they pop, break each vadagam into 3 or 4 pieces and add them to the oil.Simmer and cook until the vadagams turn golden brown/cooked then add them to the cooked rice.
7. Mix well and serve hot with appalam and vathal.

*Using a heavy bottomed pot is very important else they may get burnt.
*Adding greens i.e., drumstick leaves and arai keerai is purely optional You can ad either one or avoid both.
*Vegetables like avaraikkai, sennai kizhangu, vazhakkai, siru kizhangu can also be added.
*Do not add any watery vegetables like ash gourds,bottle gourd etc.,
*Raw mango gives and nice flavour but you can avoid it.
*Using vadagam for tempering is also optional.

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