Easy Vegetable Koottu -Veggies & Lentil Stew for the New Mom

Easy Vegetable Koottu -Veggies & Lentil Stew for the New Mom

Continuing the series of Pathiya Samayal Recipes or Recipes for the New Mom, Vegetable Koottu – easy to make, nutritious and very tasty – at least thats what Mridula says, and she should know – I’ve been making a vegetable koottu as part of lunch, several times a week during the Post Partum diet. The traditional koottu generally has coconut paste added to it, however for the Pathiya Samayal or food for the New mother, I don’t add coconut. And of course no chillies – in a regular koottu, fresh chilli would be ground along with the coconut, and a red chilli or two added to the tempering or tadka. Pepper is a good substitute for chilli in cooking for the new Mom.

Check my post for Menu Ideas and for what goes into a Balanced Meal for the first 40 days after child birth: Cooking for the New Mom   Cooking without adding onions, chillies, coconut etc and from only a small selection of vegetables considered healthy for this diet, is not easy, so I have tried to capture my experience in cooking for my daughters, in that post.

The vegetable koottu is a South Indian dish, though I don’t know why it is not a Pan Indian one. Perhaps it is because it does not have garam masala and chilli powder s as an ingredient. Or perhaps it is a South Indian derivative of the ubiquitous Dal with vegetables added to the dal. Wikipedia says “Kootu (Tamil:கூட்டு) is a Tamil word means “add” i.e. vegetable added with lentils which form the dish, made of vegetable and lentils and are semi-solid in consistency, i.e., less aqueous than sambhar, but more so than dry curries.

The caregiver for the new mother is usually rushed for time in the mornings. As for me, I would go to bed only after planning the lunch menu for the next day. The maalish lady would come at 10 and the baby would demand my attention during the time her mother had the maalish and bath. It was ‘Me time’ for me and my granddaughter for an hour and a half, and I revelled in it. Lunch had to be ready therefore before 10 – a rasam, dal or kuzhambu, a vegetable koottu or a  thogayal (vegetable chutney), a sautéed curry or poriyal.

Cooking for the New Mom_PepperOnPizza.com
Cooking for the New Mom

I would wash rice and keep the cooker ready so that I could set the rice to cook 10 minutes before Mridula came for lunch. I like to serve food hot, so I would heat the rasam or kuzhambu just before serving, and fry the manathangali (manathakkali) or black nightshade berries in ghee. Here is a link to an interesting article I came across, on the health benefits of this ‘wonder berry’.

The vegetable koottu is an integral part of this menu as it is nutritious, adds the protein and vitamin component to the lunch, and tastes so good with either rasam or a kuzhambu/ sambar. The list of ingredients may seem long, but each little condiment or spice adds to the health of the new mother and helps give her a balanced meal or pathiya samayal. The Koottu may be served with chappaties instead of rice.

Vegetable Koottu – Selecting the Ingredients

When making Vegetable koottu, choose vegetables that are soft and quick to cook – snake gourd (podalankai), saag (arai keerai), pumpkin (either red or white) etc.  Mridula’s favourite is the drumstick (murungakkai) koottu.

Snake Gourd Koottu
Snake Gourd Koottu

The best dal/ lentils for the new mom, during the 42 days after child birth is the moong dal or pasi paruppu as it is easy to digest and does not cause gas the way thowar or arahar dal would, and adds the protein component to the diet. In fact I observed that even after 42 days when the baby would be better used to mother’s milk, a small quantity of thowar dal in the rasam or sambar would often cause gas for the baby. Red/ Pink masoor dal (Mysore paruppu) may be substituted for the moong dal occasionally, to vary the taste, after the first 2 weeks after child birth.

The process is similar for making the vegetable koottu, irrespective of the vegetable used. Boil the lentils and the sliced vegetables  with a little salt, asafoetida (hing) and turmeric, add freshly ground peppercorns, mash lightly and temper / tadka with ghee, mustard, fenugreek, cumin seeds and curry leaves.

Links to Other recipes in this series of Cooking for the New Mom:

Pathiya Milagu Kuzhambu (Pepper Sambar)  http://www.pepperonpizza.com/pathiya-milagu-kuzhambu-new-mom-recipe

Khichidi for the New Mom:  http://www.pepperonpizza.com/easy-khichidi-for-the-new-mom

The link below is to a vendor to whom PepperOnPizza.com is affiliated. If you click and purchase through the link, I will earn a small commission. I only promote brands and products that I trust and use.

Print Recipe
Easy Vegetable Koottu for the New Mom Yum
Easy, Quick to make Vegetable Koottu for the new Mom, Vegetables cooked with moong dal lentils and turmeric, tempered with curry leaves, mustard, fenugreek and cumin
Vegetable Koottu_PepperOnPizza.com
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
person
Ingredients
For the Vegetable Koottu
For Tempering
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
person
Ingredients
For the Vegetable Koottu
For Tempering
Vegetable Koottu_PepperOnPizza.com
Instructions
To Make Vegetable Koottu for the New Mom
  1. Preparation: Wash the selected vegetable, dice evenly into small (about a cm square) slices. The more uniform the slices, the better they will cook. Slice the drumsticks, if using into equal length - about 4-5 cms long. The Peel needs to be removed from pumpkin, if using, while the other vegetables such as gourds or drumsticks do not need to be peeled. Wash the moong dal, check for any stones or grit and remove them.
  2. Place a small cooking utensil on the stove, add a cup of water and begin heating it. Add the dal, sliced vegetables, turmeric, hing (asafoetida) and a pinch of salt. Shred a few curry leaves (one or two) and add.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the flame and cook the vegetables and dal on a low flame. Stir frequently as they may catch at the bottom of the vessel and burn or char.
  4. After about 10- 12 minutes, the dal and vegetables would have cooked, the vegetables generally cooking faster than the dal. Drumsticks may take a little longer than the dal. If the water is used up before the dal and veggies are cooked, top up with a little water, about a tablespoon at a time. Using a whisk or a buttermilk churner (mathu), mash the dhal so that it blends with the cooked vegetables.
    Vegetable Koottu_PepperOnPizza.com
  5. Add freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. Stir and remove from the stove so that the koottu does not continue to cook on the heat of the stove even when turned off.
To Temper the Vegetable Kootu
  1. Heat ghee, turn the stove to low flame, add mustard seeds and let them burst. Add fenugreek seeds, sauté for 3-4 seconds till they burst, add urad dal (split black lentils), sauté for 3-4 seconds till they just begin to change colour. Add cumin seeds, sauté and add curry leaves.
  2. Pour the tempering on the vegetable koottu. Warm the koottu before serving along with chappaties or rice to the new mother.
Recipe Notes

For Menu Ideas for the first 40 days after child birth, and for what goes into a Balanced Meal: Cooking for the New Mom

Pathiya Milagu Kuzhambu (Pepper Sambar)  http://www.pepperonpizza.com/pathiya-milagu-kuzhambu-new-mom-recipe

Khichidi for the New Mom:  http://www.pepperonpizza.com/easy-khichidi-for-the-new-mom

Share this Recipe
Powered by WP Ultimate Recipe

Related Posts

Vanilla Apricot Black Rice Kheer (Payasam)

Vanilla Apricot Black Rice Kheer (Payasam)

An Exotic yet healthy Payasam / Kheer of Black Rice, Vanilla and Apricots. Soaking the rice for 3 hours reduces the actual cooking time. The rice is soft and chewy in texture, with a nutty taste and a heady aroma and the kheer is delicious. The cardamom is optional as the rice has enough flavour on its own.

Zucchini Au Gratin from Julia Child’s recipe

Zucchini Au Gratin from Julia Child’s recipe

Zucchini Au Grain of Grated green zucchini, cooked and tossed in a creamy velouté sauce and baked until bubbly and golden.



Leave a Reply