Thiruvadirai or Arudra Darisanam , a very important festival for devout Tamil Shavites falls during the Tamil Marghazhii month usually Pournami day and it is the birthday , star of Lord Shiva.
A delicious dish called Kali is offered to the Lord as Prasad or neivediyam and usually devotees who fast on the day consume only Kali and Kootu a rich medley of winter vegetables usually tubers and some vegetables like Pumpkin, yam, brinjal, field beans, double beans, flat beans , plantain, ash gourds.
It is a tradition to follow ones family recipe and it varies usually from different districts of Tamil Nadu For instance Thalagam is a delicious blend of spices, coconut and lots of vegetables with dal and slightly sweet and spicy. Tirunelveli people follow such recipes, whereas the Tanjore belt has somewhat similar recipe for gravy but with variations.
Usually 7 vegetables are selected for preparations of such kootu/ gravy.
The recipe which I also follow is from my mothers side of the family who are steeped in the cultures of Palakkad tradition and I find the recipe delectable and utterly lip smacking, simple to prepare and yet blends amazingly with the Kali which is a sweet jaggery rice and lentil preparation.
Called Poduthuval which is normally prepared with Kaavathu ( Asiatic yam, also called as Perumvalli or Vetrilai Kizhangu a large tuber which is mainly carbohydrates and usually consumed by Keralites.
While it is normal to prepare this Poduthuval with Kavathu and avaraekai ( beans ), it is also prepared with other vegetables like the ones mentioned above.
If you are unable to get Kaavathu/ Greater yam , you can use the regular yam and other vegetables usually available in winter months.
2 cups of mixed vegetables like( pumpkins, ash gourds, Kaavathu ( Greater Yam ), raw plantain, field beans, double beans, Colocassia )
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
some curry leaves.
1 cup of fresh grated coconut scrapings
5-6 green chillies.
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp Split udad dal
2 red chillies.