Kootanchoru Recipe

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This is a speciality from Tirunelveli
1 cup basmati rice
1/4 cup tuvar dal
1 medium lemon sized ball of tamarind
2 drumsticks, cut into 3 inch pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup small onions, peeled and kept whole
1/2 cup finely chopped sheet beans
1/2 cup finely chopped french beans
1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped potato
1/2 cup finely chopped green plantain
1/2 cup finely chopped aubergine
1 1/2 tsp salt to taste
1/2 tsp tumeric powder

Ground to a fine paste
1 1/2 cups grated fresh coconut
10-12 dried red chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
12-15 cloves garlic (optional)
1 cup water

3-4 tbsp oil
4 tbsp ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 sprig curry leaves

1. Cook rice. Cover and keep warm.
2. Wash dal and drain. Place dal in a pressure cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook under pressure for 5 minutes.
3. Soak tamarind in 3 cups water for 10 minutes. Extract juice and discard pulp.
4. Heat 1 1/2 cups water in a pan over high heat and boil drumsticks for 5-7 minutes. Set aside, reserving any remaining water.
5. Heat oil for tempering in a large pan. Add remaining ingredients for tempering in the order given. When mustard seeds splutter, add onion and small onions. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
6. Add remaining vegetables and saute for 2 minutes.
7. Sprinkle in tamarind juice, salt and turmeric powder. Simmer for 18-20 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally, till vegetables are tender.
8. Blend in cooked dal and ground paste.
9. Add rice, a few spoons at a time, mixing gently between each addition to blend well and prevent lumps.
10. Add drumsticks with its reserved water. If rice is too dry, sprinkle in a little more water. Stir gently and simmer for atleast 5-7 minutes till well blended. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Serve hot.

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