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April 22, 2014


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Kootanchoru rice
Tirunelveli famous Kootanchoru @ kadamba sadam is one of the signature recipes of my mom. Mostly Nellai people make this rice for picnic / trips and for guests. This is one of the best foods for travel. It stays good for one to two days without refrigeration. When (me & my sis) we were young, we used to go to thatha, aachi’s house in Nellai for every summer vacation.

My periamma and chithi also comes with their family. We go for a one day trip to Tiruchendur & Kutralam every year. Amma, Periamma and Chithi together prepare this rice in early morning in a big eeya paanai traditionally for 10-12 people and pack in a big vaali (thooku chatti) for travel. We have this rice for lunch in a  piece of vazhai ilai(banana leaf) after a nice bath in five falls, Kutralam. With the awesome smell of banana leaf, it tastes great & we all have minimum of two servings. Vathal/vadagam or  appalam  is the best side dish for kootanchoru. This rice tastes the best after it cools down.
Last week my mom was with me for two days. I told her to prepare this rice for our lunch and of course for blogging because some of my Nellai readers asked me to share kootanchoru recipe after trying my uluntham paruppu sadam. I asked my mom to prepare using pressure cooker but mom said making this rice in eeya paanai or indalium vessel or kadai gives the right consistency to the rice, vegetables and tastes great. As she said, it was very flavourful and tasty. But she also told the method on how to make in pressure cooker if needed. I have shared it below. 

Kootanchoru is very easy to prepare if you have chopped onions & vegetables ready in hand. It takes just 20 minutes to prepare this rice. I personally feel, it is better to do chopping & grinding work the previous night if you plan to make this rice for next day travel. Sendhil had it for the first time and loved it. We had this rice for lunch and the leftover for dinner too. My mom & dad packed this rice in a foil box & took it for their train journey. Friends if you plan for a picnic,do prepare this rice. I am sure you can have a delectable lunch.


Kootanchoru recipe

Kootanchoru recipe Tirunelveli style kootanchoru recipe – Ideal & tasty food for travel !
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Lunch
Serves: 6
Prep time: 20 Minutes
Cook time: 30 Minutes
Total time: 50 Minutes

To chop
  • Carrot - 2 nos
  • Beans -  10 nos
  • Potato - 1 no (big)
  • Broad beans - 10 nos
  • Raw banana - 1/2 no
  • Raw mango - 1/2 no
  • Brinjal - 3 nos
  • Drumstick - 1 no
  • Drumstick leaves & arai keerai – a handful
To cook
  • Rice - 1.5cups
  • Toor dal - 1/2 cup
  • Water - 12 cups
  • Tamarind – Small lemon size ( use big lemon size if you don’t add raw mangoes)
To grind
Paste -1
  • Red chillies – 12-14 (adjust)
  • Small onions – 30 - 40 nos (3/4 cup)
  • Garlic cloves - 2 bulbs(small) or 1 bulb if big variety
  • Jeera- 1 tsp
To saute
  • Cooking oil -  1 tbsp
  • Small onions - 15 
  • Green chillies – 2 TO 4( adjust)
Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
To temper
  • Gingely oil - 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Vadagam – 2-3 tbsp (OR)Small onions - 20 nos(finely chopped)
  • Curry leaves – half handful

  • Grind red chillies adding required water to make a smooth paste. This is paste-1.Set aside.
Kootanchoru step2
  • Wash and peel the small onions, garlic cloves and grind with jeera & water to make paste-2.
Kootanchoru step1
  • Soak tamarind in enough water. Take the extract using 1.5 cups of water and mix the paste-1 & paste-2, turmeric powder and salt.
Kootanchoru step3
  • Wash and chop all the vegetables of uniform size and keep the raw banana & potato cubes immersed in water till use. Chop drumstick, chop raw mango into big cubes as shown in the picture.
Kootanchoru step4
  • In a big vessel(preferably, eeya paanai or indalium vessel) take the mentioned quantity of water. When the water starts to boil, add toor dal, turmeric powder. Allow it to cook till the dal blossoms. It should be mashable.
Kootanchoru step5
  • After the dal is 3/4th cooked, add all the vegetables & keerai (greens) except raw mango pieces. It takes 10 minutes for all the vegetables to cook. Keep stirring whenever necessary.
  • After 10 minutes, wash and add the rice. Again boil for 10-15 minutes and check whether rice is done. Rice absorbs all the water and gets cooked. Add the required salt.
Kootanchoru step6
  • Check if the rice is cooked properly. Use back of the ladle to mix the rice to avoid it turning too mushy. In the mean time, heat 1tbsp oil in a kadai and saute onions, green chillies & add to rice.
Kootanchoru step7
  • Now add mango pieces. It takes 5 minutes & mango pieces will be half cooked.
Kootanchoru step8
  • Now add the tamarind extract mixture and allow it to boil for 5 minutes in medium flame. Keep stirring every now & then to avoid burnt bottom.
  • Remove the mango pieces alone after it is cooked yet firm in shape else mango will become mushy & mixed with the rice completely leaving the skin. It makes the rice tangy.
Kootanchoru step9
  • Use back of the ladle or fork like ladle to mix the rice. Lastly add grated coconut & mix well. 
Kootanchoru step10
  • Finally, temper all the ingredients given under”to temper” and add to the rice. Rice looks mushy initially but its consistency will get adjusted after it cools down.
Kootanchoru step11
Just before serving,add the cooked raw mango pieces & mix well.
  • Give a standing time of minimum one-two hours because it takes this time for all the taste to blend well with the rice.
Serve with koozh vathal/Vadam..!! Tastes great !!
**Do not use your hands at any cost while serving. Rice will be spoiled very soon. So always use a ladle.

  • Take toor dal with 2 cups of water in pressure cooker and cook in high flame for 2-3 whistles.
  • Remove the lid and add the rice and chopped vegetables except raw mango.Cook it adding 6 cups of water & salt.
  • After rice is cooked,open the lid and add the sauteed onions, chillies, tamarind extract mixture & raw mango pieces & salt if needed.
  • Allow the raw mango to cook well. Rice absorbs all the tamarind extract mixture. Use fork like ladle to mix the rice. Simmer the flame & boil for few minutes.
  • Lastly add grated coconut & tempered ingredients. Mix well, check for taste. Give a standing time of 1-2 hours & serve with vathal/vadam.
  • If the rice is too spicy, add little tamarind extract & grated coconut. It balances the taste.
  • If the rice is too tangy, add some chilli powder mixed in water & boil for sometime with rice. Add little salt if needed.
  • Adding a handful of drumstick leaves & arai keerai is suggested for this rice. But I din’t add both as I din’t have the stock.
  • Raw mango is purely optional but it gives a nice flavour to this rice. If you don’t add raw mango pieces, use big lemon size tamarind.
  • Adjust the quantity of red chillies based on your taste buds. But use tamarind in correct quantity if u reduce chillies.

Pack this rice in a foil box for your travel and enjoy with vadagam/Vathal & appalam. It tastes great !!!
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Unknown said...

perfectly made Kootanchoru...:) just goes well with apalam.. great to know that you are from nellai :)

AparnaRajeshkumar said...

nothing can beat koodanchooru :D esp wth family

Rafeeda AR said...

this is really interesting.... I am hearing this for the first time, with all those vegetables, this looks like a must try...

Unknown said...

interesting and new 1

great-secret-of-life said...

I am hearing this after my childhood play... Nothing can beat this..

Sundari Nathan said...

Aaha!! U are reminding me of my childhood trips to Courtallam!! :) tempting pics!!

Home Cooked food said...

For us its tempting khichdi looks yummy

Priya Suresh said...

Makes me nostalgic,kootanchoru is my all time favourite..

Ranjanis Kitchen said...

Very different recipe...i love the mat you used chitra.. where you get this in chennai or somewhere?

Jayanthy Kumaran said...

absolutely mouthwatering
Tasty Appetite

Shanthi said...

very interesting recipe...

Chitra said...

I am in Bangalore Ranjani.I bought it here :)

virunthu unna vaanga said...

Super tempting and healthy kootanchoru aks... Want to have it right now..

Unknown said...

interesting recipe ........very well explained !

Laavanya said...

I can't stop thinking about my paati after reading this post - she is from Tirunelveli and made this quite often... Such a tempting array of pictures and wish i could eat some right away....

Merry Tummy said...

delicious- the colour, the texture. the flavours:)

Swathi said...

Delicious, great one pot meal, how can say no to this traditional tasty recipe. love it.

Vysyas recipes said...

Yummy authentic one pot meal. Very well explained with lots of pictures.

Torviewtoronto said...

deliciously done

Lifewithspices said...

wonderful n traitonally prepared..

Gita Jaishankar said...

The kootanchoru with the vathals looks too good and is an absolute comfort food...thanks for sharing this authentic recipe Chitra :)

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

New to me...Looks very delicious

Hema said...

I have heard about this rice, but never tasted it, looking at the ingredients list, I am sure, this should have tasted awesome..

Priya said...

Kootanchoru name is new to me but kadhamba sadam i heared it somewhere :).My grand ma do it ...Yes it seems to be a little long process ,when we cut the veggies the day before really its easy to make them the next day .

Unknown said...

Back to my childhood days dear!!! Kootanchoru looks amazing.... When we have a family get together, all my aunties, mum used to make this.... Now a days all this old tradition concept has gone....

Anonymous said...

we are new to this dish but it looks so appetizing and loaded with nutritious vegetable...a healthy and delicious treat for travelling,thanks so much for the inspiration :-)

harini said...

hi chitra, thanks for the recipe.i was searching for this receipe so long.though i never tasted it,the name itself tempted me.thats why i requested you to share the recipe.thank u once again.surely i will try and give my feedback.i have a doubt,this rice should be of udir udir consistecy like that of veg rice or mashed like sambar sadam, and when to add the keerais.

Chitra said...

This rice should be like sambar sadam only,but not too mushy.Keerai should be added along with vegetables.I will update in the post too. Thanks Harini.Do try and let me know ur feedback :)

Sona said...

Looks very delicious and healthy..

Unknown said...

Resembles much like bisi belle bath from Karnataka??? Correct me If I am wrong :)

Chitra said...

It may look similar to bisibelebath but completely different in procedure and taste :)

Jeba Mathu S said...

My son ask the kootanchoru I found your recipe & yesterday cook it.
Really yummy . . . taste, my son, & my husband like it . . .

Chitra said...

Thanks for the feedback Jeba :)

Unknown said...

Chittu it came out perfectly well. Super :-). Thanks for your yummy recipe

Chitra said...

Thanks nagu :) iam so happy to know it.

Vidhya Sundar said...

Very nice Chithra, i have tried it twice and it came well. My grandmother used to add asafoetida in this recipe. That is the only missing thing here

Chitra said...

Thank you so much Vidya. Adding hing makes it more flavorful. I will ask my mom and update here. :)