Pepper Flavoured Vegetable Stew (Kaikari Milagu Kootu)
1/2 cup mung dal
1 1/2 cups grated fresh coconut
2 tsp rice flour
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 cup finely chopped chow chow
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
1/2 cup shelled green peas
1 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ghee
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
2 tsp ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
1. Roast dal in a dry frying pan over low heat till fragrant. Wash well and drain. Place dal in a pressure cooker with 1 cup water. Cook under pressure for 5 minutes.
2. Mix grated coconut with 1 cup hot water. Process for 1-2 minutes in a blender. Pour liquid through a strainer lined with muslin cloth and press out thick coconut milk. Blend in rice flour and set aside.
3. Heat ghee for spice powder in a frying pan over moderate heat. Add remaining ingredients for spice powder. Fry over low heat, tossing gently, till fragrant. Cool and grind to a fine powder.
4. Heat ghee for tempering in the same pan over moderate heat. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves. When mustard seeds splutter, add tomatoes and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
5. Add remaining vegetables and toss gently. Stir in salt, turmeric powder and 1 cup water.
6. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally till vegetables are tender.
7. Blend in dal and spice powder and cooker for 1-2 minutes.
8. Pour in coconut milk and simmer for a minute, stirring continuously.
9. Remove from heat and serve hot with rice or roti.