Ezhu kari kootu is a traditional South Indian recipe, made with 7 different vegetables on Pongal which is celebrated as the harvest festival on the tamil month of Thai. This is also prepared on Thiruvathirai festival along with the kali.
Traditionally, this kootu is prepared with vegetables that are harvested in this month and offered to the Sun God, thanking him for the agricultural abundance. These vegetables include brinjal, yam (or karnakizhangu), colocasia (or seppankizhangu), ash gourd (or pusanikkai), pumpkin (or parangikkai), raw banana, sweet potato (or chakkaravali kizhangu), Lima beans (or mochai), broad beans (or avarakkai), bottle gourd, etc,.
At my mother-in-law’s place we make this kootu for pongal. So, it was only after my marriage that I came to know about this kootu recipe and the tradition behind it. This kootu is served as a side dish for ven pongal (white pongal). We prepare a spice powder separately for this kootu which can be used in everyday sambar too.
Pro tip from my mother-in-law: If You are preparing this kootu only for one person or if you do not have enough time to make the spice powder, then normal sambar powder or even rasam powder can be used instead.
So, do try the recipe and let me know in the comments. Happy cooking and eating! Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous Pongal and Makar Sankranti! Let joy and love overflow in your life! PONGALO PONGAL!
For the spice mix
- 2-3 red chillies, or as per taste
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp whole pepper corns
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp chana dal
- 1/4 tsp split urad dal
For coconut paste
- 2-3 green chillies, or as per taste
- 1/2 cup grated coconut
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
For the kootu
- 400 grams mixed vegetables (brinjal, lima beans, broad beans, sweet potato, yam, pumpkin, ash gourd) equally cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup dal (toor dal and moong dal), refer notes
- ground coconut paste
- ground spice powder
- 1/8+1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 3 tbsp tamrind water
- salt, as per taste
- water,as required
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard
- few sprigs of curry leaves
- 1/8 tsp hing
To prepare the spice powder
- Gather all the ingredients required to prepare the spice powder
- Dry roast all the ingredients in a pan. Cool down completely and grind into a fine powder and set aside.
To prepare the coconut paste
- Gather all the ingredients required for the coconut paste
- Add it to a mixer grinder with little water and grind to a smooth paste and set aside.
To prepare the kootu
- Soak a small sized tamrind ball in 3 tbsp of water for 15 minutes. Then squeeze the tamrind and take the water alone to make the kootu.
- Cut the vegetables, make the spice powder and the coconut paste for the kootu.
- Wash the dal in water and add it to a pressure cooker along with 1/8 tsp turmeric powder and enough water, to cook the dal. Let it cook with the lid on for 5-6 whistles.
- Let the pressure release naturally. Once cooked, whisk the dal a few times to break it and set aside.
- In the same pressure cooker add some water (refer notes), 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, salt as required and the cut vegetables. Cook it for 4-5 minutes on a high flame with the lid on. (the lid need not be locked)
- When the vegetables are cooked, reduce the flame and add the cooked dal and stir well.
- Add the ground coconut paste to it and stir well.
- Add the tamrind water to the pressure cooker and mix well. Let it cook in a medium flame for 5-7 minutes.
- Now, add the spice powder and stir well. Cook for 1 more minute and switch off the stove.
To temper the kootu
- In a tadka pan, add coconut oil and let it heat up.
- Meanwhile, take the required ingredients for the tadka.
- When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, the curry leaves and hing to it. The tadka ingredients will start popping.
- Immediately pour the tempering on the kootu and mix it well.
- Serve with hot white rice or ven pongal.
- Do not burn the spices while dry roasting it.
- The amount of red chilli for the spice powder can be added according to your level of spiciness.
- For the coconut paste, the amount of green chilli can be added as per your liking.
- Th ratio of toor dal and moong dal taken is 3:1, i.e., for 25 grams of moong dal, i took 75 grams of toor dal. The ratio can be changed according to your liking but the total quantity of dal should be 1/2 cup only.
- You can take any 7 vegetables of your choice.
- I took almost equal quantity of each vegetable, but, you can take as per your liking.
- If you want the kootu to be sweet, then increase the quantity of pumpkin and sweet potato and decrease the quantity of the rest of the vegetables.
- Make sure that the total quantity of vegetables taken is 400 grams approximately.
- The water to cook the dal should be only an inch or 2 higher than the dal. Do not add more water.
- While cooking the vegetables, do not add more water. Add little water as even the vegetables will let out some water when it gets cooked.
- If there is any leftover spice powder, then you can add it to your everyday sambar too.
- I’ve used coconut oil to temper because it gives a nice flavor. You can use any oil you want.