Monday, May 05, 2014

Thengai Paal Kootu | Coconut milk Vegetable Gravy | Easy Side dish recipe | Under 30min recipe

'Thengai paal kootu' is another unique,traditional preparation of our family. Our native home had a lovely garden filled with coconut trees and many seasonal veggie plants.Our grandpa is an expert in gardening and took care of those trees like his own kids. He spent most of his time in the garden, watering and de-weeding. Those are golden days wherein we relished home-grown fresh veggies without the invasion of harmful pesticides and chemicals.The trees bore the best coconuts round the year and there was a separate room allocated for storing them in rows. No wonder coconut was a staple in the family, without which not even a single day's cooking went by. I came from a family where coconut is sparingly used in cooking. Other than the jaggery-flavoured coconut milk which is used on Appam, I have'nt tasted any other dishes prepared with coconut milk. So, my MIL's Thengai Paal Kuzhambu was a surprise to me and it just blew me off. Next is this simple, easy and no-fail Coconut milk vegetable gravy,which is an excellent side for anything from Idli, Dosa to Roti to Rice delicacies. It involves minimum effort to whip this up on busy mornings or a tired weeknight. I have used our traditional combination of veggies here, but any veggie of your choice can be swapped in the recipe for a variation.

Preparation time - 10mins
Cooking time - 15-20mins
Serves - 4


Carrot - 2, medium, julienned
Potato - 2-3, julienned
Onion - 1, large, sliced thinly
Drumstick - 1, cut to 1.5" pieces
Brinjal - 1 (optional)
Coconut milk - 2cups of thick (first)milk + 2cups second (thin) milk
(If using store-bought coconut cream, use 3/4cup of thick cream diluted with water)
Sambar powder - 3-4tblsp
Turmeric powder - 1tsp
Salt - As needed


1.  Julienne all the veggies and put into a wide pan.

2.  If using coconut cream, pour the required quantity on the veggies.


3.  Fill water until the veggies are just immersed. This is the measurement which I use for getting the perfect consistency each time.

4.  Add sambar powder, turmeric powder and salt. Check for spiciness and add more if required, as coconut milk will bring down the spice-level after being cooked.


5.  Let this mixture boil on medium-high until the veggies are cooked. This takes about 20mins. No stirring required.


6.  As it boils, it thickens and brings out a nice aroma. Switch off once the desired consistency is reached.


This Thengai paal kootu can be easily prepared and is a versatile side-dish which goes well with almost anything. We relished it with a spicy 'Jeera pepper pulao'.

This is off to Blogging Marathon event by Srivalli for Day 3 of week 1.


  1. Wow such simple dish and it looks so amazing as well..nice reading about your grandpa..will surely want to try this sometime..

    1. Thanks and do try and share your feedback.

  2. Fantastic thengai paal kootu, i can enjoy thoroughly this dish with some parathas anytime..Beautiful dish.

    1. Thank you akka. This is my savior when Iam not in mood to do side-dishes involving grinding process.

  3. Colorful and delicious veggie curry.. Lovely clicks.

  4. A very neat presentation and lovely side dish.

  5. That is a creamy side dish. Looks lovely.

  6. I love coconut milk curries - I am sure this is too good

  7. Love any gravy made with coconut milk.

  8. I know firsthand how the addition of coconut milk enhances the taste of the curry.