7 Kari Kootu (7 Vegetable Kootu)

Srilatha Main Dish, South Indian Leave a Comment

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7 Kari Kootu (7 Vegetable Kootu)
This kootu, also known as thiruvadirai kootu is a medley of a minimum of 7 vegetables, made on the day of Arudra darshan in the month of margazhi/December, in honor of lord Shiva. Traditionally it's accompanied by a sweet rice dish called Kali. It's made with the freshest produce of the season, which is the winter season, and includes squashes, gourds, and root vegetables. This recipe is sourced from Meenakshi Ammal's Samaithu Par book. It is a completely balanced dish, loaded with vegetables, protein (dal), fat (coconut), spices and tamarind for sourness. On to the recipe now!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine South Indian
Prep Time 45-60 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup each of mixed vegetables chayote squash, white and yellow pumpkin, eggplant, ridge gourd, snake gourd, raw plantain are typically used
  • 1 small lemon sized tamarind slab soaked in warm water
  • 2 tbsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup cooked, mashed toor dal
Spices to roast and grind into a paste
  • 3 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 3 tbsp chana dal
  • 10 dry red chilies
  • 1/2 cup coconut, grated frozen or fresh
Tempering Spices
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp methi seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Hing
  • 1 red chili
Course Main Dish
Cuisine South Indian
Prep Time 45-60 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup each of mixed vegetables chayote squash, white and yellow pumpkin, eggplant, ridge gourd, snake gourd, raw plantain are typically used
  • 1 small lemon sized tamarind slab soaked in warm water
  • 2 tbsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup cooked, mashed toor dal
Spices to roast and grind into a paste
  • 3 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 3 tbsp chana dal
  • 10 dry red chilies
  • 1/2 cup coconut, grated frozen or fresh
Tempering Spices
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp methi seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Hing
  • 1 red chili
Instructions
  1. Prep: Cook toor dal and mash.
  2. Soak and extract juice from tamarind and keep ready
  3. Chop all vegetables into chunks (cube shaped).
  4. I used these vegetables
  5. Gather spices for roasting, and roast in a tsp of oil - starting with teh dal and coriander seeds, red chilies and finally coconut.
  6. Color should be golden brown, and aromatic when done.
  7. Cook the vegetables, starting with the tough ones - snake gourd takes the longest to cook. Potato and chayote squash go next. The pumpkins, raw plantain, sweet potato all cook very quickly. Add vegetables to the same water, every few minutes (2-3 minutes). Total time would be roughly 8-10 minutes total, to cook all of them. You can also cook individually. I did it in the Instant pot, and some got overcooked.
  8. While the veggies are cooking, blend the roasted spices with water to a thick paste, and extract tamarind juice
  9. Add tamarind extract, salt for the dish, and spice blend to the cooked vegetables and boil for a few minutes.
  10. Add cooked dal, and mix from bottom to top very well, and cook for a few minutes, taking care not to let the dal stick to the bottom
  11. Pop the mustard seeds in a tsp of hot oil in the same kadai used for roasting the spices, once the mustard seeds pop, add the hing, chili and methi seeds, and turn the heat off
  12. Pour over the kootu
  13. Enjoy with hot steaming rice and papad for a completely balanced meal!
Recipe Notes

Recipe Source:

This is one of the recipes of the famous Meenakshi Ammal, who wrote cook books for newly married girls in her family in the 60s. Her recipes are legendary, and are available in Tamil (Samaithu Paar), and English (Cook and See), in 3 volumes.  As a newly wed who didn't even know how to make rice properly, I developed and honed my culinary skills on her books, and they're dog-eared, and well worn, and loved! I still refer to her recipes to if I want to know the traditional way of cooking!

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