Sunday, May 11, 2014

Parangikottai paal koottu

I did not think it would be harder to get to the 'extras of routine' to fall in place once you have given it a break. While getting back to everyday life after nearly four months of whirlwind activities was necessary, to do more did not seem to happen. For instance, getting back to blogging;  I might happily  call it 'writer's block', which will be blatantly lying. It was not that I had anything more important or attention dividing task on hand; simply that I did not try. But here I am trying to get this blog back in action with a simple recipe.
In the past few weeks, we keep pressing our daughter for updates on her life in her new home. Through the conversations on many of the available sources, we discuss her cooking, other activities and add our inputs. It interests me that she is doing well on her own and wants to have more ideas with cooking certain vegetables and such. Thus I tell her, send her written recipes, through mails. During our last video chat, she told me that she purchased some squash, and wanted to use it. I suggested that she can use it in this koottu with milk. She insisted that I send her a mail. Instead, I hoped to make it at home, and share it here. I had a small pumpkin and this was an opportunity to use it up too.
The recipe is very simple and usually I go by eye-balling the ingredients as there aren't many. However, when I gave my daughter this, she told me that it might help if she knew near exact quantities while making it for the first time. So, I referred to the cookbook Samaiththu Paar by  S.Meenakshi Ammal, and reduced the recipe to suit my requirement. Slight alterations are deliberate to accommodate our taste.

Parangikottai Paal Koottu
(adapted from Samaiththu Paar volume 1 by S. Meenakshi Ammal)
Servings 2 to 3

2 cups thinly sliced tender pumpkin pieces
1/3 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon rice flour (to mix with the milk)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 or 2 green chillis (according to heat level and taste)
Salt to taste

For tempering:
1 teaspoon cooking oil

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 green chilli 
1/2 teaspoon split urad dhal
fresh curry leaves

Cook the sliced pumpkin pieces adding sufficient water, slit green chilli and salt until soft, but not mushy.
If the water seems to be extra, drain a bit and add sugar. Cook for just about two minutes.
Dissolve the rice flour in the milk, and add this to the vegetable.
Stir the stewing vegetable and allow to boil for a few minutes.
Switch off the heat.
Heat the oil for tempering in a pan, add the mustard seeds. When they crackle add the urad dhal and green chilli. Toss until the dhal is golden.

Add this tempering to the stewed vegetable along with the curry leaves.
Serve as accompaniment with steamed rice and sambhar or rasam.
The milk can be partly replaced with coconut milk.
For a vegan version of the same, coconut milk will work well, only take care not to split this while boiling .


  1. To introduce me to Tamilian food, my father in law gifted me the Samaithu Paar book 1 & 2 - English version that is ' Cook and See' . One never went wrong if you followed it religiously converting the 'ollocks' to a suitable measure. I however had made my kootus with coconut and this one seems slightly different. Like the accompaniments too of rasam and the curry.

  2. Simple curry, I was thinking it might be much easier and quick to cook in the microwave. What do you think Lataji? Even your daughter might find it easier in the microwave is my guess..

  3. Lovely....
    This is new to me Aunty....
    I m in love with your serveware..

  4. We make these milk curries with bottlegourd, ridgegourd, drumstick and even brinjal. In my house, these are usually made for dinner as they are lighter than dal. I have heard my Tamilian colleagues speaking about this, I will try it soon.

  5. I do the same way with bottlegourd, pumpkin sounds simply delicious as well..


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Lata Raja.