Thursday, January 13, 2011
This is a dish prepared in advance during the Pongal festival and comes in handy on the next day when Kanu Pandigai is celebrated. Since the Pongal festival calls for an elaborate feast, one can be assured of a lot of left over vegetables and lentils in the form of currys, porials, kootus, rasam and sambar after the feast. These dishes are neatly preserved and converted into a dish called Ericha kuzhambu on the following day.
All the left over vegetables and lentil preparations are combined in a pot and cooked for a long time using low heat - similar to crock pot cooking. The end product is a hot and spicy flavoursome gravy called ericha kuzhambu which can be relished with rice. The addition of a required quantity of the previously prepared Thani Kootu renders a delicious taste and distinct aroma to the ericha kuzhambu.
Thani Kootu can be savoured as it is with hot rice, idlies, dosas or chapaties. Save it up in the refrigerator ( it can be preserved up to one week ) to enhance your daily sambars or kootus.
Black gram dal - 1/2 cup
Bengal gram dal - 1/2 cup
Fresh coconut gratings - 1/2 cup
Tamarind - 1/2 cup ( Soak in warm water)
Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Red chillies - 10
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 2 tsps
Oil - 1 tsp
Coconut oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Black gram dal - 1tsp
Bengal gram dal - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 2
Curry leaves - a handful
Fresh coconut gratings- 2 tbsps
1. Dry roast black gram dal and bengal gram dal till they become reddish in colour emanating a pleasant aroma.
2. Heat one teaspoon of coconut oil and fry red chillies.
3. Add asafoetida, fry and remove from fire.
4. In the same pan roast the fresh coconut gratings till it becomes red in colour.
5. Allow all the roasted ingredients to cool down.
6. Extract a thick juice from the soaked tamarind .
7. Gring all the roasted ingredients into a fine powder.
8. Add water and grind into a fine paste and mix in the tamarind juice.
9. Heat coconut oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
10. When it splutters add the dals and roast till golden in colour.
11. Add broken red chillies, curry leaves and the fresh coconut gratings one by one, and roast well.
12. Add the tamarind juice and paste mixture, jaggery and salt.
13. Keep stirring to avoid lumps.
14. Switch off the flame when the gravy becomes thick .
Thani kootu is now ready for future use.
TO PREPARE FRESH KOOTU
Pressure cook -
mixed vegetables chopped - 2 cups ( I have used carrots,peas,chow chow and beans. Usually native vegetables are used.)
Green gram dal - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Add 3 or 4 tbsps of Thani Kootu to the cooked dal and vegetables.
Add one more tsp of salt to taste and boil together. Crushed pepper and cumin seeds can also be added.
Relish with steaming hot rice or chapaties.