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Last updated: 04/02/2014 07:05 AM
Mulakoottal ~ Molakoottal ~ Poricha Kuzhampu ~ Poricha Kuzhambu **

Mulakoottal ~ Molakoottal ~ Poricha Kuzhampu ~ Poricha Kuzhambu **

Introduction ~

This special curry is very important in our house: at least twice a week one version of "Mulakootal" is made for lunch here. Not too hot it was[is] also one of my favourite curries. This curry obtained its form from the  Tamizh Brahamins who had migrated to Keralam from Tamil Naadu. "Mulakootal" the Malayalam name is synonomous with the Tamizh [Tamil] "Poricha Kuzhampu" in our Tamizh Iyer houses.. There are two traditional varieties and a modern variety which became an integral part of my mother's and our family cuisine  for many years. We will deal with three types of "Mulakoottal" 1) the classic variety 2) the cheera[keera] mulakoottal 3]cauliflower, peas, cabbage modern mulakootal.  The name is derived thus Mulakootal [ Mulaku(chillies) + Koottal(Mixing~Merging) ] : The Tamizh Poricha(  Fried ) Kuzhampu( Curry ). This curry is domestic and rarely served in hotels. Mulakootal uses coconut and jeera as the two major ingredients. So "Thenga ( coconut)  Jeeraka(jeera)  Mulakoottal" Or "Thengai Jeera Poricha Kuzhampu" will reveal the hidden flavour of the curry by self evident nomenclature.

The Classic Variety

Mixed Vegetables ~ 500/600 Grams

vellarikka [ cucumber ]
Ilavan ( kumbhalanga )  [ green melon ]
vaazhakka [ raw plantains ]
payar [ country beans ]
chena [ amaranthus ]
Chakkakotta [dried jackfruit seeds]  
muringakaaya [ drumstick ]

Other Ingredients

thumara parippu { thovara parippu } ( tuvar daal )  
                                                     [ 100~ 150 gms ] a small glass full
manjal podi { manja podi } (haldi dhooli) [ turmeric Powder ] ~ 
                                                     I/2 teaspooon 
uppu { uppu } ( namak ) [ Salt ] as required.   

Things to be ground into a Spice Paste in a mixie with water

thenga chiraviyadu { thegaai chiravinadu} (naariyel  )  [coconut grated ] 
                                                         [ 100 ~ 150 grams ] ~ 1/2 a coconut grated
jeerakam { jeeraam } ( jeera ) [ cumin seeds ] ~ 2 table spoon full
milaku { milahaaipazham} ( ) [ Dried Red chillies] ~  
4 or 5 [ fried in little coconut oil not burned]

The Final garnish

uzhunnu parippu ( ulutham parippu ) -1 spoon

kaduke ( kaduku ) [ mustard ]  -1 spoon

Kariveppela { Kariveppelai } (Metta Neem ~ kardi patta ) [ curry leaves ] - about ten 

The Preparation  

First Get the Tuvar daal cooked with water. You can use a pressure cooker to cook along with your rice in separate vessels.

Making The Masala Paste  

Fry the red chillies in coconut oil and take it out of the paan and mix it with fresh jeera and fresh coconut grated  and make into a spice paste in a mixie!   

The Final Cooking  

Put the Vegetables in a suitable vessel to boil with enough water. Add turmeric powder and add salt as required [ roughly two tea spoons  will be ideal ] . Let the vegetables boil for about ten minutes, then put the cooked dal and mix it and cook for a while. Finally mix the Spice paste and adjust fludity by adding little water. stir and boil for two mts and take the curry off the flame!    

Now get the Ulutam parppu and kaduku( mustard)  and fry it in little coconut oil in a little tavi as the kaduku bursts out get it off the flame and add the neem leaves into it and drop it all on the Curry. Dont stir then. Stir before serving.


2] The Cheera Mulakootal { The Keerai Poricha Kuzhampu }
[ Cheera/ Amaranthus /Palak] 

In this preparation  

500 gms of green cheera(palak)  leaves minced into suitable size are used instead of the mixed vegetables in the general case. Rest of the preparation is identical as for Ordinary Mulakootal

Note ~ My sister Prema advises that it is better to use more thumara parippu { thovara parippu } ( tuvar daal )for this version.

3 ] The Modern version of Mulakootal [ cauliflower-cabbage Porichakuzhampu ]

In this preparation  

About 500 gms of Cauliflower, cabbage peas and (a small amount of carrot and potatoes too) are suitably cut  and used instead of the traditional vegetables.
The cooking method and spicing is identical to traditional mulakoottal   

But there is no hard and fast rule! The muringakkaya and chakkakuru will add a special flavour even if used here in this Neo Mulakootal. This mulakkotal is a speciality special developed in our house for many years [ even as early as 1960 ] when cauliflower etc. were much less available. Take care that the vegetables (especially cauliflower cabbage and peas) are not overcooked!

4 ] Vaazhappoo Mulakootal
[ vaazhappoo/kele ki phool /plantain Flowers ]

Here The flowers of the plantin trees are used as vegetables! The rest of the cooking and spicing is identical to traditional Mulakoottal.

5] Vazhapindi Mulakootal


Here the soft pindi [ stem of plantain ] trees is used as the vegetable. The rest of the cooking and spicing is identical to traditional Mulakoottal. Note ~ Please ensure you ensure removing the naaryu thread in the pindi!

6] Muringa ela Mulakootal


In this version of mulakoottal the tender muringa ela { muringa leaves }  is used as the vegetable. The rest of the cooking and spicing is identical to traditional Mulakoottal. [ Use tender leaves only ]   ~

Note ~ My sister Prema observes that in this version it tastes better with less thumara parippu { thovara parippu } ( tuvar daal ) ~ She also noted the possibility of using Cheru parippu ( chiru parippu (Moong Dal )   instead of
thumara parippu { thovara parippu } ( tuvar daal )in this case )


7] Green Tomato Mulakootal

My sister Prema discovered that green tomatoes can be well used to make Mulakoottal.In this version of mulakoottal the Green tomatoes are used as the vegetable: No ripe red tomatoes please. The rest of the cooking and spcing is identical to traditional Mulakoottal.It tastes unique with a slight sweer-sour taste too.   


The Classical South Indian Mulakoottal Menu ~  


Rice, Mulakoottal, Kichadi[ Raitha ] / Pachadi, Rasam, Pappadam/chips, Chutney/ Thohayal-s. Curds,  mango/lime pickles


Mulakoottal can also be used as a curry to eat alongwith chapathis, rotis, and pooris.     

Some Exotification Possibilities~( For the Elite palette!)  

Nut paste( with saffron-elaichi) may be used to exotify the mulakottal ~ Innumerable nut paste combinations and proprtions are possibly available! Even kismis(dried grapes) may be used.

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