Thalagam (ezhu kari kootu)
Aadi Chevvai, or Sevvai, is the Tuesdays in the Tamil Month Aadi and it is considered highly auspicious for the worship of Goddess Shakti. Fridays (Aadi Velli) and Tuesdays (Aadi Chevvai) are considered highly auspicious and women in large numbers visits shrines dedicated to Amman, Durga, Parvati, Shakti and other Goddesses.
In villages there is a tradition, especially in Tirnunelveli district of TamilNadu. Unmarried girls gather together on Aadi tuesday and they go to the riverbanks of Tamaraibharani river, take bath in the holy river and after dressing up, they go and see the darshan of Goddess and return to their homes. In homes, they consider the unmarried girls as the form of Goddess Parvati and treat them with Manjal Pongal (Yellow Rice+dal) and Thalagam.
There is a song that the girls will sing when they are coming back from the river
ஆடி செவ்வாய் தேடிக்குளி அரைச்ச மஞ்சள் பூசிக்குளி அறையாத மஞ்சளை எனக்கு தா தொடுத்த பூவை நீ வச்சிக்கோ தொடுக்காத போவ எனக்கு தா மாடப்புறா மஞ்சள் அரை கோயில் கொளத்துல குளிச்சு வா
Its a belief that ladies have to take hair bath, apply turmeric for the body and keep fasting and pray to Goddess Parvati for their wellness of their husband. This tradition is slowly fading away.
Thalagam (ezhu kari kootu) is a special neivedhyam dish made on every aadi festival. This yummy thalagam is served with Thiruvathirai Kali. I always wonder how this would be a combination for Kali which is a sweet dish. But this tradition has been followed by all. We can serve this thalagam with Kali or we can also mix this thalagam with white rice. This ezhu kari kootu as the name suggests, we use 7 different seasonal root like sweet potato, yam, tara root, broad beans , yellow pumpkin, white pumpkin and raw banana. The seasonal veggies add a unique flavor to the curry.
Tips for making Thalagam:
Try to get seasonal root vegetables which are conventionally.
Toor dal, sesame seeds both gets fried too quickly. So keep the flame low and fry the toor dal first and finally toss the sesame seeds and fry for few seconds.
We can add cooked chickpeas or cooked raw peanuts and make this thalagam more interesting.
LETS SEE HOW TO PREPARE:
Thalagam - Aadi Chevvai
Course : Lunch
Cuisine : Indian
Prep time : 5 minutes
Process time : 15 minutes
Total time : 25 minutes
Any 7 types of native vegetables I used (potato, sweet potato, drumstick, radish, carrot, beans, kohlrabi) - 1 cup
Rice - 5 tsp
Toor dal - 5 tsp
Sesame seeds - 4 tsp
Dried red chili - 10
Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Tamarind water - 1/4 cup
Curry leaves - 1 string
Turmeric powder - 1 /2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Salt - as per taste
Sesame oil - 3 tsp
Ghee - 2 tsp
Water - 4 cups
In a pan add water, and add chopped 7 types of vegetables to it, add turmeric powder and mix well. Cover and cook until all vegetables are cooked.
Once all vegetables are cooked, pour tamarin juice and mix well. Aloow to boil until the smell goes.
Mean while, take other pan and dry roast the rice and sesame seeds separately until it turns light brown.
Now ad sesame oil, once heated add toor dal and fry then, next add grated coconut and dried red chilli roast them all until good aroma emits. Allow to cool.
In a mixer jar add all roasted items and grind them well.
Now add this roasted paste to the cooked vegetables and mix well.
Add required salt and water and mix well.
In other pan add ghee, mustard seeds and curry leaves, allow them to splatter and add this to cooked gravy.
Serve hot with manjal pongal.
"To get the best results you must talk to your vegetables."