PUSHKALA’S TRADITIONAL RECIPES using protein rich lentils and legumes

Continuing with recipes from family and friends, these are recipes from my other sister in law, Pushkala. Pushkala is a people’s person; who runs an NGO with her husband in Coimbatore. Running an NGO (NMCT) requires a lot of passion and she enthusiastically works to better other people’s life; she shows the same enthusiasm at home cooking for her family. These are just a few of her recipes.

Keeraimolakutal (Spinach or other greens with lentils in a coconut sauce)

Keeraimolakutal is a dish made mostly in Kerala and Tamil Nadu by a certain community. You will hardly find it in restaurants. This is a dish which most people love and I remember loving it as a child too. Serve it on hot rice and maybe a dollop of ghee. A good combination of rice and Keeraimolakutal is arachukalaki (yogurt, mixed with salted gooseberries aor salted mangoes and chillies) and kadumanga (a raw baby mango pickle). Also goes well with jeera rasam.

Here is my recipe:https://chaiwithpreethi.com/2018/06/13/comfort-food-molagootal/ and recipe of jeera rasam will be posted shortly.

  • Wash, clean and chop 2 cups of greens (arakeerai or maolakeerai- amaranthus) or spinach
  • Wash and pressure cook 1/2 cup turdal (or pressure cook in instant pot for 3 minutes) with 1 cup water
  • In a pan, heat 1 tsp coconut oil. Add 1 tsp urad dal and 1 dried red chilli and fry till brown
  • Grind the urad dal and chili with 4 tsp grated coconut and 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • In a sauce pan, cook the greens with some water, salt and 1/4 tsp coconut oil
  • Once cook, smash greens with spoon or an immersion blender and add cooked dal, coconut paste and let it boil
  • In a small pan, heat 1/2 tsp coconut oil. Add mustard seeds and red chilli. When mustard seeds splutter, pour on greens and serve hot with steamed rice.
KeeraiMolakootal (greens in coconut curry)

kadala curry (dark brown Chickpeas/Garbanzo bean curry)

The garbanzo beans used for this particular curry is the dark brown variety found in Indian and International stores. They are widely used in the south of india for curries and salads. They are smaller than the regular garbanzo beans and has a stronger flavour. This particular curry is a favourite in Keral and is served with puttu (Puttu kadala being a favorite- puttu is rice flour steamed in columns with coconut), appam (rice and coconut hoppers), rice or bread/roti. It can be eaten with naan and pita bread too. Here it is served with appam

  • Soak one cup of brown chickpeas in water for 8-12 hours
  • Pressure cook with salt and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (instant pot 4 minutes)
  • In a pan, heat 1 tsp coconut oil. Fry 4 tbsp grated coconut, 1 tbsp coriander seeds (substitute with 1 tsp coriander powder while grinding), 4 red chillies, 1 inch piece of ginger till coconut turns golden brown
  • Blend/grind to a smooth paste
  • Chop 2 large onions
  • In a pan, add 1 tsp coconut oil, add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and when they splutter, add onions nd a few curry leaves. Fry till onions are translucent
  • Add cooked chickpeas, ground coconut, 10-12 slices thinly sliced coconut pieces (oprional), salt to taste, 1 chopped tomato and cook well for 4-5 minutes on medium heat.
  • Garnish with curry leaves and serve with steamed rice or bread/ appam/dosa

Muthira kootan/ kollu kootan (horse gram curry)

Horse gram is a legume used in the south of India. It is claimed to be good for health and it is an excellent source of protein. It is usually fed to horses and therefore the name. You can substitute this with moong dal or green gram. I made it with green gram and it was delicious. Sprouted gram can used in salads too. I served it with roti.

green gram (moong dal)
  • Soak 100 grams horse gram/green gram in water for 8-12 hours.
  • Drain and leave in colander to sprout or use a bean sprouter if you have one. You can also line a clean glass bottle with kitchen paper and add the beans to it and let it sit out for a day
  • Cook ina. pressure cooker with salt and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (instant pot for 2 minutes)
  • Heat a pan, add 1 tsp vegetable oil. Add 1 tsp cumin seeds, 2 tsp coriander seeds, 3 red chillies and fry till cumin seeds slightly brown. Add 3 tbsp grated coconut, 3 cloves garlic, 10 shallots (sambar onions)/ 1 onion, few curry leaves and saute for 2- 3 minutes.
  • Grind in blender/mixer to a fine paste
  • Extract juice from a lemon sized tamarind soaked in water or use 1/2 tsp tamarind paste concentrate
  • Add tamarind paste, one chopped tomato and cooked horse gram/ green gram and cook for 10 minutes
  • In a small pan, take 1 tsp oil, add mustard seeds, 1 red chilli and curry leaves. When mustard starts to splutter, pour over curry and serve on steamed rice or roti/ chapati/ naan or pita bread.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Sybaritica says:

    Super interesting post!


    1. Thank you! I enjoy reading your posts too. We love Japanese cuisine.


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