KootanChoru

KootanChoru

Kootanchorru means mixed rice, here the rice is cooked with vegetables, lentils and coconut masala. It is very simple to prepare but packed with loads of nutrients. Vegetable such as carrot, potatoes, brinjal, raw banana, drumstick, pearl onions (sambhar onion) and drumstick leaves are commonly used in this dish.

Kootanchoru is an authentic and traditional recipe of Tirunelveli and Tuticorin people. There is one another meaning for this name “KootanChoru”- cooking rice together, Koottu means together, Choru means rice. In my childhood, during vacation all over friends (neighbours) together in a big vessel for our lunch. Each and every one of us should bring atleast one ingredient from their home, finally all the ingredients are collected and cooked by the elder one’s (neighbours) in a common place. Later we all sit together and have the lunch together. Remembering my childhood memories, nothing equals it, also miss few of my friends (neighbours).

As of now we live in fast world, I have used pressure cooker to prepare this recipe. Let us move on to the recipe…

Ingredients:

  • Rice – 1 ½ cup
  • Toor dal / Tuvaram Paruppu / Pigeon pea – 1 cup
  • Pearl onions/Sambhar onion – 20 nos
  • Carrot – 1 ½ nos
  • Drumstick – 1 no
  • Brinjal – 3 nos
  • Broad beans – 10 nos
  • Raw banana/Vazhaikai – 1 no
  • Potato – 3 nos (medium sized)
  • Green peas – ½ cup
  • Radish – 1 no
  • French beans – 10 nos
  • Drumstick leaves – a handful
  • Curry leaves – two sprigs
  • Cumin seeds – 3 tsp
  • Fenugreek/methi seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
  • Red chilies – 10 nos
  • Coconut pieces – 100 gm
  • Garlic – 5 cloves
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Tamarind – a big lemon size
  • Salt to taste
  • Gingelly/Sesame oil – 2 tbsp.

Preparation:

  • Soak red chilies in water for 20 mins.
  • Destalk and wash the drumstick leaves.
  • Peel carrot, radish and chop them to desired shape. Cut the edge and remove the string from French beans and broad beans.
  • Peel and chop the raw banana, potatoes and brinjal, soak them in water to avoid from declourisation.
  • Grind the coconut pieces, 2 ½ tsp of cumin seeds and pearl onions to a fine paste by adding little water.
  • Grind the soaked red chilies to fine paste by adding little water. Keep it aside.
  • Clean and wash the rice and lentils/paruppu. Drain the water.
  • Prepare Tamarind Extract.
  • Pressure cook rice and lentil/paruppu together with ½ tsp of turmeric powder, salt and garlic cloves for 2 whistles.
  • Mix the ground coconut paste and red chili paste along with salt to the tamarind extract and keep it aside.
  • Remove the lid, when the pressure subsides.
  • Add in all the chopped vegetables, along with the drumstick leaves and also pour in the tamarind extract to the pressure cooked rice and lentil.
  • Give a stir, check for the right amount of water and pressure cook for a whistle.
  • Heat oil in small kadai, add in the mustard, fenugreek/methi and ½ tsp of cumin seeds and curry leaves. Wait until they crackle and remove from fire.
  • Remove the lid, when the pressure subsides and pour in the tempered spices. Stir it well.

Serve hot. This goes out well with Paruppu Thuvaiyal/Lentil Chutney and Koozhvadagam. I have accompanied it with Lentil chutney/Paruppu Thuvaiyal, koozhvadagam and Arbi/Colocaesia Fry.

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