Vendhaya Keerai Kootu / Methi Dal Kootu / Vendhaya Keerai Paruppu Kadayal

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Never thought of a week without kootu in our household. My mom makes this kootu completely in a different way whereas my MIL makes it exactly how she learnt it from the neighbor maami who taught her cooking during the initial days of her marriage. So most of my MIL's cooking resembles tamil brahmin's way of cooking. Today's recipe is from her but she never used methi leaves, instead she uses other green varieties.

Some use freshly ground masala while some use only sambar masala that is available in every household. Today I followed my MIL's recipe using the sambar masala. Kootu can be prepared using either toor dal or moong dal. Seasoning can be done in the beginning itself or after preparing the kootu. Some call this as keerai kulambu and some call this as keerai kootu. Instead of vendhaya keerai, one can use any other greens - arai keerai, thandu keerai, mulai keerai, paruppu keerai etc...

Whatever the name is, it tastes heaven when eaten with hot rice and a dollop of ghee and perfectly fried raw banana. I personally love to eat kootu with ghee. But kootu goes well with both ghee and coconut oil. One can use coconut oil and also ghee or simply a vegetable oil for making this kootu.

I have used methi leaves which are very good for lowering the blood sugar, increases the milk production for new mothers, reduces the cholesterol level and packed with antioxidants. Methi leaves are easy to grow as well. both very tender or matured leaves can be used for making this kootu. If the leaves are matured and big then chop it roughly before adding it to the kootu.
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Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3

Ingredients:
Fenugreek leaves – 1 and ½ cups
Moong dal – ¼ cup
On1/4ion- ½ cup, finely chopped
Tomato – ½ cup, finely chopped
Coconut – ¼ cup, grated
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Garlic – 3, finely chopped
Salt – to taste
Sambar powder – 1 tsp
Green chilli – 1, slit
Turmeric powder –tsp
Water – ¾ cup or as required

Video Recipe:

Method with step wise pictures:
1) Soak the 1/4 cup moong dal for 10 minutes and pressure cook it by adding 3/4 cup water. Clean the methi leaves. Just pluck the leaves from the stem and wash it thoroughly. Chop onion, tomato and garlic.grind 1/4 cup of coconut into a fine paste by adding 1 or 2 tbsp water.
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2) In a pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and allow it to crackle.
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3) Add green chilli and finely chopped garlic. fry it well.
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4) Add onion and saute till it becomes soft and translucent.
5) Add tomato and let it become mushy.
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6) Add methi leaves. If the methi leaves are big and matured, chop it roughly before adding it to the pan. I had medium size tender methi leaves. so I have added as such.
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7) Saute till the methi leaves becomes soft and cooked well.
8) Once the methi leaves are cooked well, add the cooked dal, ground coconut, sambar powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste.
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9) Add 3/4 cup water and mix well. Adjust the water quantity according to your needs.
10) Let the kootu boil well and then turn off the flame.

Serving Suggestions:
1) Kootu generally goes well with white steamed rice and millets.
2) Serve kootu as a side dish for lunch along with spicy dry curries.
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Notes:
1) Adjust the water quantity according to your preference.
2) If preferred, add a tbsp of ghee towards the end for additional flavor.
3) Make sure the moong dal is cooked well and mash it before adding to the kootu.
4) Tender methi leaves tastes good with this kootu.
5) You can also add everything together in a pressure cooker and pressure cook it for 4 whistles and add the seasoning at the end. I prefer to do this method when I run out of time.

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