The next in my lunch series is again Molagootal. But this one is different from the Keerai molagootal blogged earlier. When it is said only molagootal, then it refers to the one which I am posting here. If any greens take the place of veggies, then it is specifically referred as keerai molagootal. The basic method is same for both. Veggies/leaf cooked in dal,coconut gravy. The common veggies used are ash gourd(elavan/puzhinikkai),vellarikkai, raw banana, yam, snake gourd,koorka and the like. Ash gourd is a must. Rest of the veggies are just add-ons to increase the taste. Most of the times its elavan/ash gourd only molagootal. Sometimes, depending on the veggies availability and time, I add few pieces of those.
Ash gourd/elavan chopped into small cubes - 2 cups
moong dal - less than 1/2 cup
turmeric - 1/4 tspn
grated coconut - 1/2 cup
red chilly - 1 no
cumin seeds/jeera - 1 tspn
Pressure cook chopped veggies, dal and turmeric with enough water. Grind coconut, red chilly and jeera to a smooth paste by adding required water. Take the cooked dal veggie combo . Mix salt and stir in the ground paste. Adjust the thickness of the gravy by adding water. Bring to a boil and simmer for few minutes. Season with mustard seeds and garnish with curry leaves. This is a bland dish. But it makes a wholesome nutritious soup if u make the consistency thinner. While serving molagootal with rice, add a teaspoon of ghee to the hot rice. Its really yummy.
Usually the side preferred to molagootal is spicy/tangy one. Here it is Vazhathandu/banana stem pachadi. It is very fibrous and is known to remove kidney stones. Drinking vazhathandu juice is highly recommended for kidney stone problem. The outer layer of the stem is removed and then chopped into round pieces. While chopping each pieces, remove the fibre by rolling the finger around the thandu. Put the pieces in water mixed with some buttermilk, to retain the color. Take 3/4 round pieces and chop them into tiny cubes and put them back in water. Use a skewer and rotate it in the bowl of chopped banana stem along with water to remove any left out fibre. Cleaning and chopping the stem is time consuming, but its qualities makes the effort worth.
Chopped banana stem - 2 cups
tamarind - gooseberry sized
grated coconut - 1/2 cup
green chilly - 2
red chilly - 1
mustard seeds - 1/4 tspn
Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water for 10 minutes. Extract juice and add turmeric and salt to it. Bring the tamarind water to boil. Add the chopped banana stem and let it cook till soft. Grind the coconut,green chilly,red chilly and mustard seeds to a smooth paste. Add to the cooked tamarind mixture. Adjust the consistency by adding water to get a medium thick gravy. Bring to a boil and garnish with curry leaves. Season with tablespoon of oil and mustard seeds.
Usually rasam is also prepared whenever molagootal is made. If it is only for two of us, then I omit rasam, since my husband is not very keen on having rasam.