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.
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.