Kootanchoru is a traditional one-pot meal prepared for lunch by my maternal grandmother at our family gatherings especially in the summer vacation every year. She used to prepare this flavorful rice dish with locally grown vegetables like drumsticks, drumstick leaves, raw banana, raw mango, jackfruit seeds, etc. and she served us kootan-choru with home-made fried appalam & vadagam. The main attraction for kids in this meal are the nutty jackfruit seeds & the mango seed encapsulated by tangy fleshy mango. I still remember the mixed flavors of vegetables, spices and deep-fried vengaya vadagam emanating from her kitchen when we all played in the courtyard.
Drumstick leaves idli or murungai keerai idli is a nutritious breakfast ideally served to energetic children, dynamic professionals and busy women, as these moringa leaves contain all the nutrients required for active mind & body. These keerai idli are also good for weight-watchers as they are so filling that they could very well reduce the intake of idli to a great extent than the plain idli. Besides it is as easy as making an ordinary idli, we can simply add a handful of fresh drumstick leaves into idli batter, pour into idli moulds and then steam them for few minutes. We can also encourage kids to take these nutrient-rich idli by serving them with flavorful chutney and/or Sambar.