Thiruvathira Puzukku

This warm salad with various cooked root vegetables and red beans with a coconut cumin dressing is a Tiruvathira specialty. It is traditionally prepared with tropical root vegetables such as koorka, Kaachil and telinga potatoes and garnished with coconut oil and curry leaves. Potatoes, yams, taro and cassava or yucca may be substituted in this recipe.

1 cup each of cubed root vegetables such as potatoes, yam, taro and cassava.
1 medium size green plantain peeled and cut into cubes
½ cup of red beans soaked overnight
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 ½ cups of freshly grated coconut
2 to 3 fresh hot green chili peppers
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
A few curry leaves

Combine all the cut vegetables in a pot and add enough water to cover. Add salt, turmeric and red pepper powder and cook over medium heat till the vegetables become fork tender. Cook the red beans separately until they are soft and combine with the cooked vegetables. Grind the coconut, cumin and green chilies to a coarse thick paste and add to the pot and stir gently. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes over medium low heat. Pour coconut oil over the cooked vegetables and stir gently. Garnish with fresh curry leaves. Serve hot with cooked cracked wheat or brown rice.

AMMINI RAMACHANDRAN