This recipe is more a way of cooking vegetables than a recipe in particular. I have seen my grandmother, mother, mother-in-law and many others in our community cook this particular dish with different vegetables. The vegetables that work well here are cluster beans which we call “kothavarakkai” in Tamil (in this post), snake gourd (podavalangai in Tamil), French beans, carrot or cabbage.
I really don’t know the name of this preparation as we refer to it as “parippu potta kari” meaning a “kari” with parippu”, where “kari” refers to a dry vegetable preparation and “parippu” means lentils. The name is a bit of a tongue twister to those unfamiliar with the langage, I know, but that is how its is referred to at home.
This a great recipe to resort to especially when you the particular vegetable you have on hand is just short of the quantity needed to reach every plate at your table. Split moong or yellow lentils (moong dal) is cooked along with the vegetable and this not only adds to the taste of the dish but also pushes up the protein content in a vegetarian meal.
Like many of the dishes that make up our traditional everyday meals, cooking this dish doesn’t take too much time or effort. You may leave out the asafetida powder if you don’t like it or cannot find it.
You may also cook this without the coconut and it tastes almost as good. I say “almost” because I personally like it with the touch of coconut in it.