This ezhu kari kootu (ezhu meaning seven, kari kootu meaning vegetables curry) is usually prepared during thiruvadhirai or pongal festival. Today is thiruvadhirai and I was asking my mil about this day. So this is what I learnt – Thiruvadhirai is usually celebrated in the tamil month of marghazi for lord Shiva. I do not remember much about thiruvadhirai from my childhood days except that I used to eat this and my dad used to do pooja for hours! 🙂 She said this kootu and kali is usually prepared first thing in the morning when the sun rises. Apparently her father used to do the ezhu kaala pooja (a pooja for lord Shiva) during sunrise and this kali and kootu are made as prasad. Everyone had to wake up early that day and eat this. It used to be so filling since it has so many vegetables in it. But now people just make them at their leisure and do neivedhyam (offering) of the same to god.
This flavorful curry is usually served as a side with something sweet ie, kali in case of thiruvadhirai or sweet pongal during pongal. It is just as great with plain rice. But there’s something about the salt and sweet combination that makes it great 🙂 We use freshly ground spices for this recipe and that along with loads of veggies makes it aromatic and nutritious!
- 1/4 cup toor dal soaked for minimum 1 hour
- 6 cups veggies cubed. (Use seven different types of veggies. I used sweet potato, white pumpkin, plantain, broad beans/avarakkai, carrot, chayote squash, beans)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp methi seeds
- 1/2 tsp channa dal
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 green chilly slit
- 11/2 tsp sesame oil / coconut oil
- 1/4 cup coconut grated
- 1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp channa dal
- 1 tbsp +1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 4 to 6 red chilies depending on spice levels
- 1 small lemon size tamarind soaked in little water
- 2 fat pinches asafoetida
Switch on the saute mode and add the oil. Then add the channa dal, coriander seeds, red chillies and saute until the channa dal turns golden brown. Remove the dal, chilles and coriander and grind them along with coconut, soaked tamarind, asafoetida and little water into a smooth paste.
With the oil remaining in the pan, make a tadka of mustard seeds, methi seeds, channa dal, and green chilly. Let the mustard seeds pop.
Now add all the veggies (The veggies are generally cut a little big for this kootu), turmeric powder, salt and mix well.
Add the soaked dal, 2 1/2 cups water and mix everything.
Add the ground paste on top making sure the paste does not touch the bottom of the pan.
Close the lid and cook on manual high for 8 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
Serve hot with thiruvadhirai kali or pongal or plain rice 🙂