Monday, April 20, 2009

Mochai Kottai Kulambu

Mochai kottai is a tasty bean prevalently used in villages of TamilNadu. It is a variety of bean just like Toor dhal or snow peas with an enormous growth rate.
We can see the fresh pods in and around bazaars of Madurai, Tuticorin and Kovilpatti (TN, India) during the summer season . commercially the val dhal is removed from the pods and dried for the storage purpose so that there would be an year round supply. It is supposed to be sold at a lesser price because of its ample supply but an excellent source of protein like all dals.
People of TamilNadu make a tangy curry called Mochai kottai kulambu along with tamarind paste.
Festival associated with the Kulambu:
Though the Mochai kottai kulambu is famous all over South India, I have tasted it with dry fish and great taste in the villages near Madras and Madurai.
I am narrating about the curry made in a village in India and the the festival associated with it .
It is a custom to make this curry with brinjal , drumstick vegetable, tomato and dried fish during the Tamil month of Aadi (mid July - mid August).
During that month we can see a lot of functions in the Temple.
On Sundays of the Aadi month , they prepare the 'Mochai kottai kulambu' with dry fish as 'karuvattu kulambu' along with a porridge called 'koozh' (read as kooll) and offer it for the Goddess Amman in various forms. Then they distribute it to all those who visit them and will have great meals together.
In Madras , my neighbors used to make the dishes in huge volume with fervent love for the Goddess Amman and any one who go to their house would be encouraged to have the meal . Myself being the pet of the area, won't even think of cooking on those days as i would get a Lion's share always:) I love that festival very much as there would be a lot of activities in my neighborhood like 'poo kuzhi , walking on hot charcoal' and many events. Moreover I love that koozh and dry fish curry combination very much.

Otherwise in ordinary days people make a vegetarian version also.
I wished to bring back a closer cousin of that kulambu called Mochai kottai kulambu, the vegetarian version.
It turned out so good and here goes the recipe for it.

Translations for Mochai kottai:

Hindi - Val dal / English - Hyacinth bean or field bean / Tamil - Mochai payeru or mochai kai or mochai kottai / Telugu - Anapa kayalu or Ginjalu
Kindly comment me if you know the translation for val dal in your language.

Mochai kottai puli kulambu / Mochai kai kara kulambu:


Mochai kottai / val dhal - 1 cup
Baby Brinjal - 4
Drumstick (vegetable) - 1
Tomato - 2
Tamarind - small lime size
Red onion - 1 (chopped)
mustard - 1/2 tsp
fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp
curry leaves - 1 brig
oil - 1 tbsp
asafoetida - 1 pinch
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
coriander powder - 2 tsp
turmeric powder - 1 pinch
sambar powder - 1/2 tsp
water - 2 cups
salt - 2 tsp


(If you are using the fresh beans then just start from the method.
otherwise go for pre soaking.)
Dry roast the mochai kottai, till u see dark spots on the outer layer and a nice aroma.
Then rinse it with water twice. Add water till it gets well immersed. Soak overnight or an hour.
Pressure cook for 3 whistles.
(we can cook it in stove top also, but it will take an hour).


Cut drumstick into 2 inch pieces and make a small slit in each piece.
Cut the eggplant / brinjal into small pieces.
Soak the tamarind in hot water and extract juice using 2 cups of water.
Heat oil in a pan.
Crackle mustard seeds , add fenugreek seeds , curry leaves and asafoetida.
Add the cut chopped onion and fry till it becomes mild red.
Then add the chopped tomato and fry till becomes mushy.
Then add the tamarind juice ,salt, the chilly powder, Turmeric , coriander powder and Sambar powder.
Let it boil till the raw smell of tamarind vanishes.
Now add the cut vegetables with 2 cups water (use drained water from the cooked dal) and cook till the vegetables become tender.
Then add the cooked val dhal (mochai kottai) and bring it to a boil.
Some people love to add some ground coconut paste in this stage. But even without coconut this kulambu will be great.
switch off and serve hot.
Mochai kottai kulambu is ready.

Serving suggestions:

Makes 500 ml of Puli kulambu.
It can be served for 5 people.
Serve hot with steamed rice and and any vegetable side dish or with egg omlete.


I am very much excited when two of my friends Pryia of Priya's Sourashtrian kitchen and Shama of Easy2cook recipes passed me this beautiful award.

Thank you friends. I feel honored.
I think it is appropriate to pass on this award to all who visit me. Feel free to pick it up , buddies.

Sending this 'Mochai kottai kulambu' to Shama's 'Village special' (Giramathu kaimanam), an innovative way to bring out the best from our native places. Hope this suits the event. My hearty wishes to Shama to conduct the event successfully.


Subhie Arun said...

yummy gravy...i love the combo of brinjal n other version is mochai wth nethili karuvadhu n boiled egg kulambu..urs looks tooo gud...............

Gita Jaishankar said...

Congrats on our award dear :) Yummy kulambu, I was almost drooling as I was reading your post, the part about dried fish and mochai kottai kulambu! It has been quite sometime since I had this kulambu, I should make this very soon ;)

Suparna said...

Hi Viki,
I love to read the intersting write ups at ur blog :) great looking recipe with such healthy inclusions.
I too want u to take the award from my blog dear :) thanks for such wonderful information n recipe u give in ur blog :)
Thanks for mine from ur blog :)

Finla said...

Yummy yummy delicous. I canimagine how delicious it is to eat this with plain rice.

Asha said...

Village food is the best, looks delicious. Enjoy the award Vickie! :)

Priya Sriram said...

Aww.. vaayila enakku oorudu kulambu paathale!! :D
Supera irukku Vicky! But I'm afraid this is not available here. Gotta search!!!
Btw, very happy to share the award with you dear... :)

Manju said...

i soo love this lentil. Havent had this kulambu for a while now. Congrats on the award!! :)

Nandinis food said...

Yummy delicious mochai Kottai gravy. Slurp! I had this Kozhambu only in school days. waaahhhhhh ,you reminded me.

Lavanya said...

gravy looks so yummy are a special chef to make these kind of gravies..looks nice!!

Priyameena said...

Looks yummy!!Adding brinjal and drumstick is really adding a kick to the kulambu..

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Wow Viki, such a nice comforting pure Tamilian dish... Am drooling all over... You are an amazing cook...

Gita Jaishankar said...

Thanks a lot for your kind words sweetheart :)

Malar Gandhi said...

What shld I say...same pinch again...I made this kuzhambu on friday, got a chance to buy karuvadu, mochai plus brinjal from korean market...during last week's trip!:)

Yeah they make it with porridge during aadi maasam. But I instead like it with Kali dear. There is no words to describe this earthly dish, right. Love the way you made...wanna knock your door!:)

Cham said...

The only difference we add some garlic too , i love with nettile meen karuvadu addition. Looks superb!

Adlak's tiny world said...

I love to have this... u r tempting me dear.

Yasmeen said...

Now this is a unique bean I haven't tried yet,the spicy kulambu sounds perfect with rice:)

Raks said...

I love this,and make often now a days! Looks mouthwatering!

Priya Suresh said...

Love this kuzhambu, looks yummy Viki..they will tastes really divin after a day na, am i rite:)

Shama Nagarajan said...

this is yummy healthy this......can u send this to my event....

Vikis Kitchen said...

Thanks for you encouragement , my friends.
Thanks Suparna for saying such nice words on my write up. This encourages me a lot.
Shama: Thanks for asking dear.
Surely I am sending this for your amazing event. said...

I love mochai kottai. Where did you get it from???

lissie said...

Congratulations on your award, Vicky! The kulambu seems to be delicious and healthy...

Vikis Kitchen said...

Hi Smitha, I bought the val dhal / mochai kottai in Subzi mandi , NJ.
I found this link. May be we can buy any rare items online.

Unknown said...

Yummy grandma makes this often..Nice entry,Viki

Sujatha said...

this kulambu is my favorite! I sometimes add drumsticks or brinjals along with the mochais.. Looks lovely!

Anu said...

Kuzhambu looks very tasty. As usual enjoyed ur write up :)

Varsha Vipins said...

Brinjal n Mochai sounda a nice combo VIki..lovely dish..:)

Ann said...

Congrats Viki, I love this kulambu, my mom often makes this. Goes well with idi and dosa.

Purva Desai said...

Lovely gravy....we call these white chaowli.....

Vikis Kitchen said...

Thanks purva for the info.
I will add in my blog. U look great in that new hair style and dress.

Pooja said...

The gravy looks delicious..and this recipe is new to me..have to try it out.
Thanks for dropping by my blog. You have lots of recipes..I'll be visiting for sure :)

Unknown said...

This makes me nostalgic! love mochai kuzhambu!

dsdsds said...

Ooh this is my fav... i love it with koozh or kali.. i saw rangoon beans in a store which looked like mochai. but didnt buy it as i was not too sure. Any idea of the english name!!

chinathambi said...

Nice post, keep posting.