In the previous post we saw the detailed information about the grand festival Arudhra Darisenam and the special neivediyam/prashad Kali offered to Lord Nataraja .
Another special mixed vegetables gravy dish also prepared and served along with the Kali is the Ezhukari kootu which means a gravy prepared using preferably 7 native vegetables usually available during the winter months.
This is a very tasty dish using so many vegetables and imparts a great flavor to the dish . Easy to prepare and very nutritious as Mong dal is added to the dish. Some parts of Tamilnadu prepare the Kuhambu using 5 or 7 vegetables and the preparation differs. However we are used to preparing the kootu using the recipe given below.Both the preparations are tasty in their own ways.
Some of the vegetables used in this dish are the yellow pumpkin, ash gourd, field beans, broad beans, sweet potatoes, yam,colocassia and green plantains..
1/2 cp Moong dal ( paasi parupp) ( optional )
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
5 small green chillies, reduce if you like a less spicy gravy.
1 tsp rice flour to be added at the end to thicken the gravy.
2 or 3 tsp coconut oil or ordinary cooking oil.
1 tsp mustard seeds
sprigs of curry leaves.
Peel the skins of colacassia, sweet potatoes, green plaintain, ash gourd, yellow pumpkin, peel the fresh field beans, string the broad beans and cube all the vegetables to slightly bigger pieces.
Keep the moong dal coked and ready, keep aside.
Cook all the cubed vegetables with turmeric , little salt and some curry leaves in little water just enough to cook the vegetables. While they are cooking, grind the coconut, green chillis, cumin seeds to a fine paste and keep aside.
When the vegetables are cooked , add the cooked moong dal, and the ground coconut paste to the gravy and give a stir.
Add the rice flour to the gravy to thicken. Adjust the taste for salt.
Finally temper with 3 tsp of coconut oil heated in a pan, add the mustard seeds , let it crackle, add some sprigs of curry leaves and pour the seasoning over the simmering gravy.
Usually this special Ezhu kari kootu or koootu made with 5 vegetables during Thiruvadirai with Kali , a sweet jaggery rice and moong dal preparation similar to upma.
This gravy with many vegetables is also prepared during Pongal.
Peel and cube the vegetables to slightly bigger pieces and cook with turmeric powder, a pinch of salt and little water enough to soften the vegetables.
Keep the cooked moong dal side.
Grind the green chillies, with cumin seeds and coconut grated fresh to a fine paste. Keep aside.
When the vegetables are cooked to soft, add the cooked moong dal and the ground paste and stir the vegetable mixture, adjust the salt if necessary. Season with the tempering and garnish with curry leaves.