Friday, December 29, 2006

Entry for Jhiva: Mangai Kootan

The holidays are almost coming to an end, and so is the year. But none of my plans advanced even so much as a millimeter - Gosh! I do so hate myself. The only good thing about this week was watching old episodes of "Friends". We got the 1st season and the 10th season from the library - and it was probably the bestest thing ever - to sit with the Mr. and laugh till our sides split - watching the spontaneous friends ... Awww... why am I not one of the "Friends"?

About the title of the blog, Well I happened to "food-browsing" - when I found that there is going to be a new Jhiva event- and this time it is one of my favorite food ingredients - Coconut. Being born in a palakkad based family, I guess it is really difficult to have grown without having to eat this delicious "fruit"?? every day in some form or the other. In fact it was only after marriage, and due to the stubborn insistent of the "cholestrol" conscious hubby, that I have reduced the usage. But when I saw the blog on Jhiva - for coconut , I could not resist and so decided to blog on one of my most favorite "liquid" dishes - Manga kootaan or Manga kootu.

My mom-in-law makes it with ripe mangoes, but amma would always choose the most sour mangoes for it - only because I love sour mangoes , much to appa's disgust. So, here goes the sour and tangy dish...

1 Big mango - cut into uneven pieces (the uneven pieces give it a nice look )
1 Cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup curd
4-5 green chillies
1 tbsp Jeera
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder
Pinch of red chilli powder
Curry leaves
Mustard and Methi seeds for tempering.

How to cook?

Boil the mango pieces in little water and a pinch of red chillies (Amma - kai kki konjam karam pidikarathukku - for the pieces to get some karam). Grind the coconut, chillies and jeera into a thick paste. Once the mango pieces are slightly soft, add the coconut paste, salt and turmeric to it and bring it all to a boil. Once the mixture starts to boil, add the curry leaves and reduce the heat. Beat the curds with very little water and add it to the warm mixture - make sure the heat is at "Low" else the curd will break into small lumps. In a while a small froth will start to form on the top - switch off the gas. In a small utensil heat oil, add mustard seeds - when the seeds start to splutter add methi seeds (this gives a very good fragrance and taste to the kootan). Add this tempering to the kootan and there you have - one of the best dishes in the world :).

One of the best meals is - Hot rice, ghee, manga kootan and nice deep friend kathrikai (brinjals)... Yummy - my mouth is already watering. Oh! did i forget to mention papadam?

I became quite popular among the bachelor circles of the Mr.'s Friends due to this tasty dish. It was indeed nice to see one big bowl full of manga kootan getting emptied within seconds at one of the lunches at our place. But no matter how well it turned out, it was and will never be half as wonderful as my darling amma makes it.


Gomathi Sarma said...

I am never fascinated by mango kootttan and its sister dishes made of mango. I feel that they are sweet and not spicy.

But this recipe looks really yummy. I am gonna try with sour mangoes and not ripe mangoes and of course with chilli.

Ashwini said...

I am sure your amma would be proud...the kootan looks yummy! Thanks so much for participating in JFI and happy holidays

Vidhya Rajesh said...

$$Ashwini - Thanks for accepting my recipe :) and also for your warm words.

$$Gomes - Yeah, the mangai dishes are exactly not favs among many people. And getting proper ripe mangoes here in the US is also kinda difficult, most of them are partly sour, partly sweet. Do let me know how it comes out to be.

Gini said...

I loved the way you described the recipe. It is hard to beat the taste of food that our mothers make. Great entry.

Vidhya Rajesh said...

$$ Gini - Thanks for your lovely comments and thanks for stopping by :)

Usha said...

Never tried it before though the basic recipe is the same as other mor kootu. Am waiting for the first mangos to hit the market to try this out. Tell me do the mangoes need to have a lot of pulippu or will kilimooku mango do?

Vidhya Rajesh said...

$$ Usha - Yes it is the same base as Mor Kootu, except that the sourness here is provided by the mango. Kili mooku maanga sometimes becomes sweet and it is very soft so it 'melts' into the kootu and does not remain pieces at the end. Do try and let me know it goes :)
You can try the same with ripe mangoes, the squishy types - i think called rasalu or something. In that case, just drop the entire mango into the kootu.

Anonymous said...

Vidya - Nice to see Mor Kootan in your blog. I am a Palakkadian too and I love this dish. The sweet mango version and the sour mango version have got their own special tastes.

Vidhya Rajesh said...

$$ Hi 'Nature and me' && fellow palakkadian - Thanks for stopping at my blog. I visited your site - and was really amazed. You are indeed one great flower admirer. Even I love flowers. My friends always made fun of me, when I would stop at every flower to take snaps :)