Kootukkai Kuzhambu or pala kai kuzhambu:
Pongal special koottukai kuzhambu, selected vegetables with fresh stone grind masala which enhances the taste and aroma of this recipe by our ancestors.
Chettinad special Kootukkai Kuzhambu or pala kaai Kuzhambu,(Gravy made out of many vegetables)
Koottu means–Together, Vegetables together is Kottukkai
Kootukkai Kuzhambu is specially made on the day of Pongal festival.Vegetables counting in odd numbers as 7, 9, 11….is added in this Kuzhambu like Pumpkin, Brinjal, Avaraikkai(flat beans)Vazhaikkai(plantain),
Palakkai( babby jackfruit) and Thattaikkai(cowpea beans) Sweet potato, Drumstick, and soo many… known as Nattukkaikarigal.
Some people follow their traditional method of making, Karunai kizhangu Kuzhambu and kathirikkai,(brinja),Vazhiakkai kuzhambu separately and poriyal with Avaraikkai, Thattaikkai separately, and Koottu with Palakkai.
This is very simple and oil-free recipe, no seasoning, Sautéing or frying in this method is followed, Purely made out of Vegetables no dal is added. It gives the great taste and fresh aroma of all vegetables cooked together. Pala Kaai kuzhambu is served with White Pongal. Yummy, spicy and tasty, the recipe for this Kootukkuzhambu is given below.
Ingredients: Vegetables you can choose of your choice 5 or 7 as per your interest, If you add more numbers quantity and taste will be more.
Avaraikkai(flat beans)-100 gms
Palakkai( babby jackfruit)-100 gms
Thattaikkai(cowpea beans)-100 gms
Sweet potato-100 gms
Avarai mochai-10 gms
Tomato-100gms,2 to 3 nos
Curry leaves 4 twigs
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Methi seeds-1/2 tsp
Oil -2 tbsp, optional
Sambar masala powder -4 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Tamarind extract-1/2 cup
Method to prepare:
Cut all Vegetables in cubical shape in equal size and skin peel vegetables like Arbi and Palakkai.
Take a big vessel add cut vegetables, Onion, Tomato, Fennel seeds, Cumin seeds, Methi seeds, Curry leaves and oil.
Add 4 tsp of sambar masala powder, 1/2 tsp of Tumeric powder,3 tsp of salt and 1/2 cup of tamarind extract approximately.
Add 4 cups of water to cook and for thick gravy, mix all together.(remember water from some of the vegetables added, will also ooze out).
Close and cook until vegetables get cooked soft and observe ingredients added along with it.
Serve as such with white Pongal.