Thani kootu is a specialty of the Brahmin recipes for Sumangali prarthanai , a thanksgivng religious function to honour the female ancestors . As the no of side dishes to be prepared is five of the veg gravies called kootu, a Thani kotu is prepared which forms as the base for preparing other five side dishes ( koottus ) all having the same base . Thani means alone in Tamil which means the kootu is a stand alone base for other vegetables like pumpkins, chow chow, cluster beans, brinjal.
1/4 cup cooked chana dal ( very lightly cooked not to be mashed.)
Keep the cooked dal drained, aside to be added later to vegetables and gravy.
5 tbsp chana dal
5 tbsp coriander seeds
1 berry size tamrind
1/2 coconut fully grated fresh
10-12 red dry chillies
1/4 cup powdered jaggery
1 tsp chana dal
1 tbsp mustard seeds
some curry leaves
Pinch of asafoetida powder
2 tbsp sesame oil
Keep the tamrind soaked in warm water to extract the juice .Strain it of impurities.
Extract sufficient tamrind water at least three times till completely extracted from tamrind ball.
Heat oil in a pan and roast the chana dal, red chillies, coriander seeds, pinch of asafoetida powder. Remove and keep aside when lightly brown. Next roast the coconut till golden and aromatic..
Next powder the dry roasted ingredients including coconut when cooled.
Next in a pan add some oil, let it become hot, add the mustard seeds and other seasoning ingredients, add the extracted tamrind water .Add the powdered jaggery and the powdered dal and coconut mixture, stir well and let boil, in a low flame.
This is the basic thani kootu which is the same base for some vegetables like chow chow, pumpkins, cluster beans, brinjal. Usually this thani kootu is prepared for Sumangali prarthanai
To add vegetables, choose any of the above, cook them soft, add in gravy prepared above with the cooked dal set aside mentioned in ingredients list above.
Delicious sweet spicy Thani kootu is ready.You can also choose a mix of vegetables instead of one.