This is a South Indian dish made with French beans, sliced very fine, stirred with coconut and lentil paste. ‘Mulagootal’ and ‘Thogayal’ are authentic preparations from the Palakkad Iyers’ cuisine. The vegetables used in this dish traditionally used to include raw banana, yam, pumpkin, ash gourd, snake gourd or amaranth leaves. While nowadays these vegetables are being substituted by beans, carrots, cabbage and so on. This non-spicy and bland dish is an ideal one for a child’s meal. The taste of the ‘Mulagootal’ is derived from the mashed lentil mixed with chilli-coconut-lentil paste; here the spice from the green chilli blends with the coconut in the paste. Relish this dish with white steamed rice, carrot thogayal and Puliinji!
- 2 cups, thinly sliced green beans
- 1 cup cooked and mashed red gram lentil/split pigeon peas (tuvar dal)
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- 1 sprig curry leaves
For the paste:
- ¾ cup freshly grated coconut
- 1 ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp black gram lentils (urad dal)
- 1 green chilli (optional)
For the seasoning:
- 1 ½ tsp coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 ½ tsp split black gram (urad dal)
- In a pan, put in about ¼ tsp oil and put in the 1 tsp split black gram lentil (for the paste). Sauté till it starts turning golden.
- Add the cumin seeds and sauté till it just till it gives off an aroma. Do not brown it.
- Grind the sautéed lentil and cumin seeds with the coconut and green chilli, adding just enough water to obtain a smooth paste. Keep aside.
- In the same pan (or another one), put the green beans, turmeric powder and salt along with 1 ½ cups of water and bring to a boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer till the beans are well cooked.
- Now add the mashed red gram lentils and the curry leaves. Mix well and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the coconut paste, stir again and allow to come to a boil. After about 2 or 3 minutes turn off the heat.
- Pour the mulagootal into a serving bowl.
- In a small pan, heat the 1½ tsp oil for seasoning. Put the mustard seeds in and when they splutter, add the black gram dal and stir till it becomes golden in colour. Pour this into the mulagootal. Stir before serving.
- Serve as accompaniment with rotis or steamed white rice, thogayal and pickle/puliinji.