My son seems to always hit bulls eye!

In his innocent way he enquired yesterday – “Mama, you are not going to make breads and cakes any more?”

I was quite perplexed, and when I asked him why he felt that, he replied – “No, no. Just that you have not baked during the last two Saturdays!”

Of course, the traditional cooking was set off with Ganesh Chaturthi, followed by Gokulashtami! I was drained of energy preparing festive goodies which is why the ‘Saturday Bakes’ sat on the backburner! In fact I enjoyed the traditional fare so much that most of my everyday cooking too followed the same pattern!

This leads to my post today – Puzhukku! Puzhukku is again a typical Palakkad vegetable which falls more in the category of Kootu.

Oh, oh! More confusion? I hope this clarifies:) Here is a Staple Meal of Tamilians.

In the picture from Left to Right:

Pickle, cabbage poduthuval (Dry cabbage garnished with coconut), Aviyal, kootu, pazham pachadi (Fruit jam kind of thing), Thayir pachadi (Seasoned Curd), Vadai, and Rice with a dollop of ghee/clarified butter and Sambar on top. Apart from this two payasams were served in cups – pal payasam made with milk, and tengapal payasam made with coconut milk and jaggery. The recipe for tengapal payasam will follow in a few days time.

The picture above was taken at my friend, S’s new house – like most Indians she performed a small puja to ward off evils and bring in good tidings before the family starts living there. This is called “Gruhapravesham” or “Housewarming”. More about the puja later. This picture represents a classic South Indian Meal taken on freshly cut and washed plantain leaves. I took this picture just before my other friend ‘N’ was about to start eating! Some of the dishes are not seen as they came as later courses, but this is what it essentially is!

The staple meal of Palakkad is steamed brown/white rice, accompanied by sambar/rasam/ morkootan among gravies, kootu/poduthuval among semi-dry or dry vegetables, the ubiquitous thayir/dahi (Curd) and pickles and pappadam. Earlier people used to make both sambar and rasam everyday but now the style has changed slightly – possibly due to change in lifestyle! One just does not have the time to go about cooking such an elaborate meal. If I cook up a Tamilian meal, it is generally just rice, one gravy and one dry dish. No papads with every meal:)

The dishes that fall in the category of sambars also include porichakozhambu which is again vegetables cooked in tamarind water! A post on sambars follows soon!

Kootu includes almost any dish which is semi-dry, contains vegetables and legumes – chana dal/moong/horsegram, and of course garnished with generous amounts of grated or ground coconut!

Puzhukku is one of the kootu varieties – it is one of my favourites, and I could have just this in cupfuls without anything else! I like this best taken with rice – more puzhukku and less rice:). It is an exotic blend of saboot moong (whole green legumes with the skin on), some earthy vegetables like suran/chenai(Elephant’s foot yam), aloo/urulakazhanga (Potatoes), kaccha kela/vazhakkai (Raw Green Bananas) etc., and of course ground coconut!!

Does this tempt you enough?

1 cup Saboot Moong/Whole Green Pulses with skin on
1/2 coconut gratedVegetables – Diced small and cleaned in water
1 medium sized Carrot
1 medium Potato
1 Raw Banana
1/2 cup of diced yam (Elephant’s Foot)
a handful of ‘koorkaikazhanga’ if you find them – Does anyone have an image or an English/Hindi equivalent for this one?

1 tsp. sarson/rai/kadugu (Mustard Seeds)
2 or 3 sukhi lal mirch / dry red chillies
1 sprig of curry leaves/kadipatta/kargapulai
1 tsp coconut oil – try not to substitute as this adds a unique flavor

1. Pressure cook dal and set aside.

2. Cook the diced and cleaned vegetables in just enough water with 1/4 tsp. of turmeric powder and a little salt till well cooked. The vegetables should be well cooked, not just done but not too mushy.

3. Whizz the coconut with a green chilli for a second just to mince it well and form a coarse paste with very little water. The idea is to mince the chilli and not grind the coconut!

4. Combine the cooked moong, vegetables and ground coconut paste together. The mixture should contain water just enough to help you mix the ingredients. Adjust salt to taste.

5. Heat oil. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the dry red chillies followed by curry leaves. Pour over the hot vegetable.

6. Blogger? Well then – don’t forget to keep some of the seasoning aside so that you can make the picture attractive:)

This is my entry for the second edition of “My Legume Love Affair” – an affair conceptualized by Susan of ‘The Well Seasoned Cook‘ and this time hosted by Lucy of ‘Nourish me’. Well – This dish is not only a legume affair that tantalizes your tongue, but it promises to nourish you with its wonderful seasonings – A Merry Blend – Whatsay?

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Have your say

  1. A wonderful post. I love the picture of the traditional meal. And yes, I don’t know how they did it back in the day- sambhar and rasam all in one day? In addition to all the other stuff! The Puzhukku looks interesting!

  2. hmm..have to find out from my mother-in-law if she makes puzhukku – sounds delicious!

  3. I say, ‘Yum’!

    Gorgeous inviting images and such a beautiful dish to boot.

    Thank you so much for participating, Harini. Can’t wait to try Puzzhukku on my family.

  4. Great entry. Very nice food, recipe and pics are mouthwatering!!!Keep rocking!!!

  5. That was a good write up on the general menu and puzhukku in particular. Koorka is called chinese potatoes. U can find the image in my post http://kailaskitchen.blogspot.com/2008/01/masala-koorka.html

  6. this looks so delicious,..thnak for sharin,..nd the meal u don ask,..made me remember hostel days,..:-)

  7. Fantastic pics!! realllyyy amazing pic…
    the food on the banana leaf is so tempting!!! yum yum yum

  8. The pic is awesome!! I love the spread too .. as Bengalis also have food served in banana leaves on occassions. I often try to have a full meal in South Indian restaraunts just for that feel. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Puzhukku looks very doable .. will try it once. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Puzuhukku looks so good and wholesome. I do hope I can manage a green post for you before leaving for India this weekend.

  10. Love the picture of the meal in the leaf.
    My mom sometimes make puzhukku with raw jackfruit

  11. yum yum yummy…drooling over the pics

  12. I say this is wonderful and the stuff our meals are made of.:)
    We usually make puzhukku somwhat like this for Thiruvathira, along with “Kali”.

  13. Bharti – Thank you. The post served its purpose – making you enjoy! In the earlier days people expended a lot of energy doing physical work. In comparison we hardly do any! Maybe that’s why they could eat heartily:)

    Arundathi – If she is from Palakkad she may know about it!

    Lucy – Thank you for the appreciation and the visit:) I am looking forward to your round up!

    Madhavi – Thank you Girl!! I hope to keep up the rock!!

    Jayasree – Thank you for the info. Did you see my request for reference to your photograph? Can I?

    Priyanka – That is what I love best about writing – the flow of thought and the speed with which we just seem to float from one phase of life to another, and thank God! We remember the good events always – I love this power of the mind:)

    Vij – Thanks!!

    Sharmila – I didn’t know that Bengalis also use plantain leaves! Glad you like the pics – I was trying a different prop this time!

    Rashmi – I am glad you will try!! That matters more:) Have a happy journey, and a merry holiday!

    HC – Wow! With Jackfruit? I make idichakka thoran but not puzhukku with jackfruit! Do make it soon and post:)

    EC – Thank you!

    Aparna – Oh! Yes! We took make thiruvatharai kootu – only things is we also add sweet potato and tapioca in it. I am not very fond of kali though!

  14. LOVED the pictures of the puzhukku and the recipe as well. The festival spread on the plantain leaf looks so great! That’s how we have it in K’taka too but with slightly different dishes. I absolutely believe that the plantain leaf “plate” adds flavor to all the dishes! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Oh seeing ur Tamilian spread , i feel i miss many good food ๐Ÿ™ Never heard of puzhukku but i can imagine the taste like Kootu ๐Ÿ™‚ Very interesting recipe!

  16. oooh! The pic with the food served on a plantain leaf is so mouth-watering. Puzhukku is a new recipe for me. Thanks for the lovely recipe.

  17. Great post..the spread on the banana leaf looked very inviting and the puzhukku looks very tasty and yummy…good one about bloggers setting aside some garnish for the picture..haha..


    lovely post n AM drooling over those delicious spread .. its been a while since i had them

  19. Lovely post and presetation:)
    Awesome pictures!

  20. Love your moong dal version of puzhukku. I’ve only made it with muthira and chakka (jackfruit). Would love to try this out next time.

  21. I just love that picture of the meal on the banana leaf!!1

    Puzhukku is something I am yet to make….

  22. pic with complete meal is so good and mouth watering! nice recipe!
    Visit my blog while u find time and join in the chicken event going in my blog!

  23. I am so thrilled to find all these vegan sweet recipes on your blog. By the way, hope you’ll participate in Sweet Vegan, an event I announced just yesterday.

  24. Oh, yes, this tempts me! What a rich spread, Harini. I could scoop up everything on that plaintain leaf and then some.

  25. Hi Harini – please contact me via my email address as you have won the prize for the event. I will need your postal address to send the prize on to you as soon as possible.

    I emailed you a few days ago, but you have not yet responded. Thanks!

  26. Vani, Cham, Uma, Usha, VP, Susan – Even we in Mumbai are sentimental about the banana leaf platter, for the very simple reason it is available only at functions! It is a pleasure eating out of it:)

    Jayashree – I saw your muthira puzhukku! I love kollu so that is something I got to try out real soon!

    Vani – Thank you:)

    Lucy – I am emailing you right now! I checked up and can’t find it! I am elated and thank you for the wonderful line up! I am sure to try out some of those luscious legumes:)

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