Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Kiwi Gee's Recipes from Down Under - Poricha Koottu

This is a classic South Indian recipe, one made probably in every home. And equally probably it will vary slightly from home to home, never really exactly the same anywhere.

I've done my version (or rather, my mom's version - actually, probably my grandmother's version and so on upwards!) earlier, except that in my family it's called
"poricha kuzhambu" and it varies ever so slightly from Kiwi Gee's. For instance, I've never known it to have pureed tomatoes in it, or ginger, and it's one of the few items we make that doesnt have coriander leaves as garnish!

But, as I already said, each to his/her own. And, as Kiwi Gee says, it's "Esply good for rotis on ‘onionless’ days. Nowadays, it is a boon to me as I get my veggies and dhal into one simple dish that is quick to cook and nutritious to eat. And easy to camouflage the veggies in all that dhal, esply as far as feeding the hungry hordes (kids) goes".

So there you are - a way to get those dreaded veggies into your kids, if you have them (kids, I mean). If you dont, it's merely a good way to incorporate all the odds and ends of vegetables that you might have in the fridge. Either way, a good recipe to have on hand. ("This koottu can be made with different veggies – white pumpkin, carrots, frozen mixed veggies, cabbage, spinach, zucchini, etc. ")

Kiwi Gee used "choko" (in the strange language of Down Under *wink* it refers to chayote squash/Bangalore kathirikkai!), but I didnt have any on hand as it's not a vegetable that's seen in the local supermarkets. Luckily I did have a half of doodhi (bottle gourd), so I used that in its place. Also added a chopped carrot, a potato, some green beans and, at the very end of cooking, frozen green peas. (What's life without green peas, eh?).

Recipe for:
Poricha kootu

2 cups chopped mixed veggies (any combination of potatoes, carrots, green beans, chayote squash, eggplant - if you absolutely must - etc)
1/4 cup moong dal
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder (a pinch)
1 tsp oil

For the seasoning:
Coriander leaves
Curry leaves

1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp channa dal
1 tsp urad dal
pinch asafoetida powder

For the paste:
2-4 green chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp grated ococonut
5 pepper corns
Small piece of ginger
1 large tomato (or two medium ones)


1. Wash the moong dal, drain and add a cupful of water along with the vegetables and a pinch of turmeric powder.

2. Pressure cook the vegetables and the moong dal for 3 whistles or until the dal is well mushy. Set aside.

3. Chop tomatoes into small bits and grind to a fine paste along with ginger, green chillies, cumin seeds, coconut and pepper corns – grind raw.

4. In a kadhai, heat the oil, add the hing powder, mustard seeds, channa and urad dhal and curry leaves.

5. When mustard pops and dhals are reddish, add the paste.

6. Fry for a minute, then add the pressure cooked vegetables and dhal along with the frozen peas if using.

7. Keep stirring till it all comes to a boil (adding water if reqd to keep it at a pouring consistency), then add salt, mix and switch hob off.

8. Sprinkle chopped coriander on top. Use as a side dish with rice or rotis.


Suganya said...

I like the spice combo. As you say, pureed tomatoes is new to me. Shud serve the purpose of lemon juice squirted at the end.

Shyam said...

Suganya: Lemon juice for poricha kuzhmbu? That's new to me too! :)

Sharmi said...

why is it called poricha koothu? I never tried adding so many veggies in my koothu. this looks more good.

kiwilax said...

Shyam: Thanks for hosting.
Potatoes in the koottu are new to me. I normally like to use a combo of frozen mixed veggies that we get in the supermarket here (corn/peas/carrot), but Dana goes an angry red at the sight of anything with peas in it, so nowadays, i end up using only the other stuff that kind of blends with the dal. So much for camouflaging them for the kids. And yes, I have heard of lemon juice for koottu - not the kuzhambu.

mika said...

This looks almost like a kurma. We gring only chilies, cumin and coconut. This looks like an interesting North Indian type variation.

Btw, your orange cake seems to be out at the perfect time. I have some must-use tangerines. Will try and let u know...

Jyothi said...

Hi Shyamala, dish looks yummy and very colorful. First time at your blog. Nice blog with yummy recipes. Thanks for sharing.

sra said...

Thanks for the idea - I'm trying to collect these 'fridge-cleaner' recipes. Whatever I do, my vegetable odds and ends never end. Sigh!

Vcuisine said...

Very nice shyamala. Viji

Nithya Swaminathan said...

Lovely recipe! Looks really good. In my family too its called Poricha Kuzhambu only, and will definitely have potatoes, drumstick, egg plant etc. Lemon juice in kootu is new. Kootu is one dish that does not have the sour flavor at all in our household. We use lemon juice only on dal.

Shyamala, I have a query. For your eggless cake recipes, can they be done in a microwave oven? I assum you use the baking oven, can they be done without it?


Shyam said...

Sharmi: I have the same question as you - where did the name come from? There's nothing "poricha" or "fried" about it, right? It's a kootu, but why my family terms it a "kuzhambu" is also a mystery! :)

KiwiLax: No problem, next recipe pls! :)

Mika: I guess what stops this kootu being a kurma is the lack of ground poppyseeds or cashews.
Hope the tangerine cake comes out well :)

Jyothi: Thanks! :) Nice of you to stop by!

Sra: Hey, any time! And I have the same problem as you, all the time!

Viji: Thank you :)

Nithya: Yep, I use lemon juice for dals too - not in kootu. But I guess I'll be trying lemon juice next time! :)
I use a regular oven and I havent tried making cakes in the microwave at all. I guess the only way is to try and see. Let's compare recipes next time, shall we? :)

Anonymous said...

Made for todays lunch. I added cabbage and cauliflower along with carrot, green peas and potatos. Back at my place (Kerala) we do not make paste of tomato & green chilly etc. Just add it like that..This was a variation and came out well... Best part of this is that it take so little time....Thnx