amma's recipe · Kerala recipes · Rice · south indian recipe

Easy meal – Molagootal

Meals at my thatha and thathi’s (paternal grandparents) followed a routine — The day began with filter coffee, ablutions and the first meal of the day was at 10:30-11:00 AM, a sumptuous brunch; this was followed with tea and tiffin at 3 or 4 pm and a light dinner of cracked wheat or rice kanji at 8. Any left overs of the morning were wiped clean and come morning, everything was made from scratch all over again!

In addition to the routine, there was a certain pattern to the meals. If brunch included sambhar (lentils in tamarind gravy), the tiffin would be ildis or dosais; or if it was moru kozhambu (buttermilk based gravy) then tiffin would be adais and so on.

I rarely followed the routine of course, being at school six days a week. And the lone sunday or summer vacations I was home, I would fit into the meal times between morning doordarshan channel watching and playing on the streets. And no points for guessing that, back then I complained about the home-cooked-quality of the meals and wished deep-fried delicacies were the way to go. 🙂 . I digress.

Molagootal, was one of the versatile dishes for that meal pattern, eaten with rice and chapati and was often made. Although, not as popular as many others my grandmother and mother would whip up, this one is my most favorite comfort food in the coconut based gravy group after avial.

If you are in mood for an easy on the stomach meal, not intense in flavor, Molagootal is the way to go. And as i share the recipe here, you will realize it also takes no time to make.

Veggies to choose from – cabbage (red or green) , grated carrots, snake gourd, spinach (well blanched)
Toor dal – 1 cup
Grated coconut – 1 cup
Cumin seed/jeera – nearly 1 tsp
Dry red chilly – 3 or 4 (Add more for a spicier dish)


    • Beat the coconut, cumin and red chillies to a semi-smooth paste. Keep aside.
    • Set the toor dal to cook to a well mashed consistency.
    • Set the veggies to a medium boil with a pinch turmeric. Dont let it boil for too long.
    • Add the coconut paste and dal. Add salt.

Temper the dish with mustard, urud dal, curry leaves in –> *coconut oil*.

Insisted on the last part, since that is what gives it the distinct flavor. You can do it in regular cooking oil, but it will give you veggies in dal with coconut gravy and not molagootal ! 😀

Molagootal is best enjoyed with a spicy or intense flavor side. Some of the popular ones include  – Rasam, Indian pickle, spicy chutneys  and Togayal.

I made the spicy roasted coconut togayal to go with our meal and took it a little further and fried some crunchy crisps for the happy mouthfuls!

Do you have another recipe for molagootal? Ever tried it? Do let me know!

Happy cooking!!!!


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