I am a big fan of curd (Indian yogurt) – every desi meal is squared off with a liberal dose of curd at the end, be it idli or pongal or roti. If I refuse to eat a dish, add some curd to it, and chances are I will finish it without any complaint. What are the odds that this curd-eater (or over-eater) would find a guy who doesn’t touch curd with a 10 foott pole? Well, that is what happened; I married someone who doesn’t eat curd, smell curd and prefers to not even see curd 🙂 So my favorite dishes like mor kozhambu and avial are rarely made, as I am too lazy to make two dishes for the two of us. When I have people over for lunch or dinner, however, the rules of the game are different. I don’t think too much about making a dish or two that my husband would skip.
Dakshin by Chandra Padmanabhan has some authentic Tam-Bram recipes and when I looked at her Mor kootu, I knew this was something that could not go wrong. All the goodness of kootu with the tangy taste of curd, this is sure to be a hit in any crowd.
1 chayote squash – peeled and cubed (or any other squash)
1/2 cup coconut – grated
1 cup fresh curd
1 green chillies
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Saute in 2 tsp oil and grind
red chillies – 2
coriander seeds – 2 tsp
Kadalai paruppu (Bengal gram) – 1 tsp
Vendhayam (Fenugreek seeds) – 1/2 tsp
along with the coconut and green chillies. Mix well with curd.
Temper (Thalippu) in ghee, 1 tsp mustard seeds and add the cubed squash , turmeric powder, salt and enough water to cover the veggies; cook on low heat till the squash is fork-tender.
Add the paste and heat for a couple of minutes. Be careful to prevent curdling.
Mor kootu can be eaten with rice as a main-dish or as a side to Bisi bele bath or any other mixed rice.