Cooking a Spicy Tale
Tuesday, March 21, 2006 Family Heirloom

You can't be a Tirunelveli gal, if you can't cook Kootanchoru, a recipe as famous as the Halwa. The quintessential dish to make every trip memorable. It was sometime in the mid-80s, Aachi cutting vegetables in the rendankattu(1), athai handling the kerosene stove on the ground and the kids running around doing small errands, getting ready for the trip to Tiruchendur. In our family, no vacation is complete unless one has visited atleast 3 temples. So the huge 'thooku-chattis'(2) were cleaned and stuffed with Kootanchoru and Curd rice, dabbas filled with koozhvathal, papads and chillies, and N million bottles of water of which one was already empty and Thatha was screaming at Thalavai not to drink all the water before we started our trip.

Not many city-bred friends of mine liked it so much. Except maybe for Archu for whom I always carried an extra box :) So without further delay, here's the recipe.

100g each of : carrots, brinjal, beans, potatoes
Drumstick - 2
Plantain(vazhakkai) - 1(if big, else 2)
Raw mango - 1
Toor dal - 1/4 cup(U can inc. a little if u like)
Rice - 1 cup
Sambhar powder
Turmeric powder

Tamarind - size of small lemon
Drumstick leaves/Araikeerai - 1 bunch (if available)

Serve hot with papads and koozh vathal. We normally don't make plain rice when we cook this. We just add curd to kootanchoru and finish the meal off. It tastes yummy. But then, that's us :)
And yeah, drumstick, mango & plaintain are essential without which this recipe won't taste as good.

Credits: Family

1 : The room following the living room and leading to the kitchen, in those ancient elongated houses of yesteryears.

2: The huge 'bucket-shaped' vessels with lids, that usually accompany every bride to her new home. Also can be bought from the hawker in exchange for grandma's old (silk) sarees.

Posted by The Cookie :: 10:45 AM :: 12 comments

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