I have been planning a lunch series featuring the ordinary lunch menu at my home, which most of the time is traditional dishes. I took few pictures also. It ends there. I kept on procastinating the posting part. Finally I have come around to posting stage.I didnot want to stop it after 2/3 posts and leave it there. I wish to feature atleast the most common recipes in this series. Hope I will do minimum justice to it. A normal lunch consists of a gravy/kootan as referred in Palakkad Iyer lingo, upperi/dry curry, rasam(not everyday), mor/buttermilk and pickle. I had not doubt to what will be my first post in this series. What else other than Molagootal, the signature dish of Palakkad Iyers, to kick start the series.
Keerai molagootal (Spinach in dal and coconut gravy)
Arakeerai/Amaranth leaves (the one with small leaves) is the best variety for molagootal. Palak/Spinach is also good. Most of the times I end up buying palak since it is easy clean, where arakeerai takes quite some time to separate the leaves and tender stem.
Roughly chopped keerai - 3 cupssaltturmeric
Tuvar dal - 1/2 cup
Cumin Seeds/Jeers - 1 tspn
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
For roastingUrad dal - 1 tspnRed chilly - 1 no
Oil - 2 tspn
Mustard seeds - 1 tspn
Ccook the spinach leaves in 1 cup of water till the leaves are withered. Alternatively Mw for 3 minutes. Leave it to cool . Pressure cook tuvar dal till soft. Mash the dal well. Roast urad dal and red chilly in a tspn of oil till dal turns light brown.
Pulse the keerai in the mixer for few seconds. It should be pureed but not too smooth.Grind the coconut,roasted dal and chilly and jeera to a fine paste.
Coimbine spinach puree, mashed dal and ground paste. Bring to a boil. Season with mustard seeds.
The preferred sides for molagootal is puli pachadi (tamarind based), thayir pachadi(with yogurt base) thogayals (chutney) or arachukalakki.
Now I am posting the recipe for nellikkai arachukalakki. Arachukalakki literally translates as Ground and Mixed.Here it is grounded gooseberry and coconut with chilly mixed with yogurt. Chenai/yam, kanni manga (salt pickled small mangoes ) are generally used for preparing arachukalakki.
Gooseberries pickled in salt - 10 nos.
(Usually these berries would have turn soft on soaking in salt water. If you find them firm, u can steam cook/MW for few minutes to make them soft. )
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
green chilly - 3 nos
whipped curd - 1/2 cup
oil - 2 tspn
mustard seeds - 1 tspn
red chilly - 1 no
methi seeds - 1/4 tspn
Remove the seeds from the berries. Grind together GB, coconut and green chillies.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, followed by red chilly broken into two. Finally add methi seeds. When methi starts turning brown, add to the ground mixture. While the pan is hot, add the whipped curd to the pan and pour over the seasoning. Mix well. Since salt in the gooseberries will be enough, additional salt will not be required. Though check if needed.