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
Author: Sujata Shukla
For the Vegetable Koottu
1cupsliced vegetablesDiced small for fast cooking
1tablespoonmoong dhalpasi paruppu, skinless split green gram lentils
A fewcurry leaves
apinchasafoetida powderhing, perungayam
1/2teaspoonground black pepper
apinchsalt and to taste
1/4teaspoonMustard seedsrai, kadugu
afewFenugreek seedsmethi, menthiyam
a pinchsplit black lentilsurad dal, ullutham paruppu
1/4 teaspoonCumin seedsjeera
a few curry leaves
To Make Vegetable Koottu for the New Mom
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Pour the tempering on the vegetable koottu. Warm the koottu before serving along with chappaties or rice to the new mother.
For Menu Ideas for the first 40 days after child birth, and for what goes into a Balanced Meal: Cooking for the New Mom