January 11, 2009

Beans Molakootal/ Molagootal (Beans Cooked With Lentils And Coconut) and Parippu Thogayal (Lentil and Coconut Chutney)

T he “Mulagootal is a very typical preparations of the Palakkad Iyers. A “Mulagootal” is made usually using one type of vegetable (traditionally amaranth leaves, raw banana, yam, pumpkin, ash gourd or snake gourd though nowadays beans, cabbage, carrots, etc are used; this list of vegetables is not exhaustive) and occasionally a combination of two vegetables like raw banana and yard long beans.

The vegetable is cooked with red gram lentils (or sometimes split moong lentils) in a coconut gravy but no chillies or pepper is used making this rather bland yet very tasty. I , however, like to add a green chilli (the less spicy variety) while grinding the coconut paste as this lends a nice flavour without the “bite”.

Since a mulagootal is bland, it is always served in combination with a spicy and tangy preparation like a thogayal (recipe follows in this post) or a puli pachadi (made with tamarind) or a thayir pachadi (made with yogurt) or a pulikyatchal ( a very spicy and tangy chutney made from green chillies, ginger and tamarind). If one is feeling lazy and not upto preparing a second dish, then a spicy pickle or a podi would do just as well.

Here, the vegetable in my mulagootal is beans but you can make this with a vegetable of your choice following the same recipe.
Beans Molakootal/ Molagootal


2 cups, thinly sliced green beans

1 cup cooked and mashed red gram lentils (tuvar dal)

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

salt to taste

1 sprig curry leaves

For the paste:

3/4 cup freshly grated coconut

1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp black gram lentils (urad dal)

1 green chili (optional)

For the tempering:

1 1/2 tsp coconut oil (or sunflower oil)

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 1/2 tsp black gram dal (urad dal)


In a pan, put in about ¼ tsp oil and put in the 1 tsp 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.

Alternatively, you may cook the beans in the microwave till done and then put it on the stove with turmeric, salt and about ¾ cup of water and bring this to a boil. Then turn down the heat to medium.
This is what I do. I find it quicker and also like it that the beans retain their green colour.

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 tempering. 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.


TBC said...

I have started making mulagootal-spinach mulagootal- after coming across a recipe for one on a blog. It is really good. I tend to spice it up a bit, especially since I make it with the otherwise bland spinach. I think I'm going to try this with plantain the next time.

Do u have a recipe for the puli pachadi or the pulikyatchal? Is pulikyatchal the same as puliinji? I would like to try that.

Aparna said...

That was quick, TBC.:)
Yes, I do have recipes for both. Pulikyatchal is the same thing as puliinji.

I shall post the recipe for puli patchadi soon.

Curry Leaf said...

I agree with TBC.I make spinach one only,this version is new to me.I make thogayal a bit differently add chana dal instead of toor and also add green chilli.I love it with idlis especially and hot rice.I love your mouthwatering pic.:P

Asha said...

YUMMY!! Great to see these traditional dishes, A! :)

Sig said...

I didn't know what a mulagootal is, even though I've had it many times. I am loving this combo! BTW, isn't funny that mulagootal doesn't have any "mulaku" (chili) in it? Or did the name come from somewhere else?

Sunshinemom said...

I just love molagootal made with anything, and thogayal too! Both are my favourites, and they look good here!

karuna said...

i love anything with coconut. nice recipe

jayasree said...

molagootal and thogayal is one of my comfort foods. But with beans, I hvn't tried yet. Your pic is tempting enough to give a try.

Rajani said...

i've hd cabbage molagootal - i think its a cousin of the malayali mulagoshyam- are u familiar with that? there are two versions one with ground coconut jeeragam and another with just velichenna. and yet another version from palakkad a varathu arachcha mulagoshyam! anyway curry looks lovely and will addit on my menu - and so too the thovayal.

sra said...

I've had this earlier - I would probably add a bit of packaged coconut milk for the taste, though it mayn't give the texture ;)

Happy cook said...

Wish i had this Mulagootal with plain rice.
Look so yumm.
I have never had them.

Aparna said...

Frankly I have no idea where the name comes from though it does suggest the presence of chillies. I shall check this out when I go back home for the summer!

Yes, we do make mulagushyam too, the type without the coconut. Its on my blog.
But I'm hearing of a varatharatcha mulagushyam for the first time. Is it a Namboodiri preparation?

Coconut milk does have its pluses, but it wouldn't do anything for this dish, unfortunately. :)

Rajani said...

i dont think its a namboodri preparation cos my achchamma comes from a nair tharavadu. i need to ask my mum cos she makes this specially for my dad on occassion. we kids call it thiruvilwamala mulagoshyam (my dad'sfrom there)

Smitha said...

This is so much like the tam-bram Koot, and Kannada Maggige Huli sans the butter milk. The best part, they all taste absolutely yummy

Ashwini Kenchanna said...

Looks Yum and very traditional..

Aparna said...

I'll check back with the elders at home, they probably know of the varatharacha version.
I'll be happy to hear from you about this whenever you get the info. Thanks.

I know this is like the TamBram kootu, but is not as thick as that version. At least the version I had at my sister's SIL's place.
We also make Kootu which is quite different from mulagootal.
True, whatever the version, they tatse very good.

Cham said...

Mollakutal sounds like Kootu and we accompanied with tamarind base gravy too in Tamilian cuisine. Thogayal can be part of Chettinad cuisine so u can send (if u wish to RCI-Chettina)

FoodyGuru (Srimathi) said...

Pramadhum Aparna. I love molagootal. My sister used to make very good keerai molagootal. Your recipe reminds me of hers. Good job

Soma said...


these are completely new things to me.. never heard of or eaten before. thanks for sharing.

Vaishali said...

Aparna, Mulagootal is new to me, but reading about it had my mouth watering. I will be sure to try it.

Lorraine E said...

They look absolutely mouth watering! I love lentils so thankyou for all of your lentil recipes, they're great! :)

bee said...

i plan to make this molagootal soon - with some other veggie - 'cos it looks so yum.

DEESHA said...

we make this molagootal too, we call is thovve, I love it with ridge gourd, this is what Iam gonna have for lunch today

we are never full said...

one of my new years resolution is to make more indian food. you may just be the website that shows me the way. The Parippu Thogayal looks unbelievable.

Aparna said...

Welcome to my kitche.
I certainly hope I can help you keep to this particular New Year's resolution.:)