I have been showering you with a range of Kootu recipes without tamarind, and they are glorious! But, occasionally, Kootu can include some tamarind for that lovely tangy taste. It is best to use Toor Dal, rather than Mung dal, when tamarind is used.
This recipe uses a ground masala with coconut, cumin and urad dal (black gram dal). Some households use black pepper instead of cumin. Poritha Kootu with Tamarind can be made with a medley of vegetables, rather than the single vegetable that is preferred for Poritha Kuzhambu. Another feature of this dish that you will notice, is that it includes legumes and/or beans as well as the dal.
Remember that this is a thicker dish than Poritha Kuzhambu, so cook the dal and vegetables in less water than you might otherwise.
This recipe is again one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from the first volume of Cook and See. Such a tangle it was, but I think that I have untangled it well. I do hope that you enjoy. We have used Drumstick Leaves (Moringa) as our vegetable.
Why not browse through Meenakshi Ammal’s recipes? They are here.
Poritha Kootu with Tamarind
eggplant (brinjal), sabre beans, cluster beans, amaranth stems, Chennai yam, Karunai Yam can all be used separately or together. The yams should always be cooked separately and added to the other vegetables. If cluster beans are not very soft, a pinch of baking soda may be added at the time of cooking, to soften them. Sabre beans can be cooked separately with salt and turmeric if they are not very tender, and added with the tamarind.
Amaranth leaves and Drumstick leaves can be used in any Poritha Kuzhambu, Poritha Kootu and Kootu. Add 0.25 tspn sugar or a little jaggery when using these leaves.
ingredients (serves 4)
0.25 cup chickpeas (whole bengal gram)
0.75 cup toor dal (red gram dal)
1.25 tspn salt
0.5 5spn turmeric
tamarind – a piece the size of a small marble
0.75 tspn sambar powder
1 tspn urad dal (black gram dal)
1 tspn ghee
1 Tblspn grated coconut – frozen grated coconut is fine to use, available from Indian Groceries.
0.5 tspn brown mustard seed
0.5 tspn black gram dal (urad dal)
2 tspn ghee
Soak the chickpeas overnight. In the morning, rinse and cook until tender.
Cook the toor dal in just enough water until very tender and mushy. As this is a thicker dish than the corresponding Poritha Kuzhambu, the dal need not be mashed.
While the lentils and beans are cooking, the rest of the recipe can be prepared.
Soak the tamarind in warm water.
Sauté the 1 tspn black gram dal in 1 tspn ghee until golden. Grind to a paste with coconut. Keep aside.
If using cluster beans, cut them into small pieces and wash them well.
Simmer the prepared vegetables with just enough water to cover the vegetables – about half a cup, with added salt and turmeric. Just as they finish cooking, add the sambar powder.
Drain the tamarind water, pushing through the sieve as much of the tamarind pulp as possible. Add this tamarind water to the vegetables.
Add the cooked chickpeas and dal and bring the vegetable mix back to the boil. Simmer until the raw tamarind taste disappears.
Now add the coconut paste and mix well. Simmer for a few minutes.
Add the asafoetida and stir well, bringing it back to a simmer.
Prepare the tadka by heating the ghee in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Add the urad dal, and as it turns golden brown, pour the whole mixture onto the kuzhambu.
Turn off the heat, cover, and allow to sit for 2 minutes for the flavours to infuse.
recipe notes and alternatives
Broken, dried beans can be used instead of chickpeas.
Alternatively, leave out the chickpeas and soak 2 tspns of channa dal. Cook this with the vegetables.
In place of sambar powder, fry some black gram dal with 4 or 5 dried red chillies and grind to a paste. Use this in place of the sambar powder.
Remember that this is a thicker dish than the Poritha Kuzhambu, so cook the dal and vegetables in less water than you might otherwise.