Mezhukkuvarati / Mezhukkupurati ~ Roasted vegetables with black eyed beans

It is 7:46p.m as I am starting to type this post. I got back home five minutes ago. Now that P is back for good and because he is able to get home quicker than I do, I got treated to hot tea as soon as I stepped into the kitchen. The sight of the cooker already on the gas and vegetables neatly chopped and steamed, just waiting for a final seasoning and garnish overwhelmed me beyond words. I smiled and clicked twice on the mozilla firefox icon, signed in to my mail and was pleasantly surprised by the first and only mail for the day. I know words can speak volumes but reading those three words stunned me! It was simple and yet forcible. A subscriber sent a mail with the masoor dal recipe extract and it just read – “I want more.”

Normally, I don’t like to blog at this time as there are many things that call for my attention apart from two eager enthusiastic children ready to fill me in with the happenings of the day. Today, I decided to go on to the dashboard and get going with this very simple ‘Palakkad’ recipe that is made regularly in most Keralite homes and never ceases to cause extreme cases of salivation! Thanks, SK for the motivation!

Mezhukku means ‘fat’ and varatti means ‘to roast’. You could suffix it with puratti instead of varatti but the essence is the same. Vegetables roasted in fat, with or without karamani.
Karamani is known by many names and some of these are ‘black eyed beans’, ‘lobia’, ‘chowli’ or ‘chowlai dana’. Black eyed beans are a very tasty variety of legumes which are seeds of amaranth plant (mulaikeerai or molakeerai in Tamil and hara maath in Marathi).

How to cook black eyed beans?
If you pressure cook the beans without pre-soaking they will not cook through completely. The first way is to either soak them in enough water for at least an hour before pressure cooking. The second alternative which is my preferred method is to dry roast the legumes on low fire till slightly brown specks appear, cook them in enough water for three whistles and let the pressure go down naturally. After cooking they will appear brown in colour. Do not add salt or turmeric while cooking legumes.

Recipe: Mezhukkuvarati / Mezhukkupurati
Roasted vegetables with black eyed beans, a traditional recipe from South India
Yield: Serves 5


2 raw bananas (firm, green ones) / kachha kela / vazhakkai – diced small (0.75cm on each side for the Monicas of the world)
100g elephant’s foot yam / suran / chenai – diced small
2 medium sized potatoes / aloo / urulaikazhangu, firm ones – diced small
1 cup cooked black eyed beans / lobia / karamani / payaru
Coconut oil / Nariyal tel / Tengai yennai – 3-4 tbsp.
Salt to taste


Boil and cook the vegetables together, in enough water and salt till almost done. You need them to retain their firmness and not turn soft. Drain and set aside till needed.
Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a wide kadai or wok. Add drained vegetables and mix well to coat them evenly. Now let it roast well in slow fire. It takes nearly 1/2 an hour as the fire should be slow and you need to stir it every now and then. It may seem time consuming but then you can plan this and do many other thngs in the mean time.

If you find that the vegetables are sticking to the kadai, scrape lightly and add a tbsp. of oil more and continue roasting in slow fire. Check salt and adjust as per taste. You may add red chilli powder at this stage if you need it but I do not.

When you find the vegetables crisp and roasted, add the drained, cooked black eyed beans and mix well so that some of it coats the vegetables and some remain firm. Mix well and roast. I purposely roast a lot without oil because I like the part that sticks to the bottom of the wok. We actually used to fight over that portion when we were kids!

Add a tsp. of oil, give a final stir and remove. Generally 3 tbsps. are quite enough but you may need more if the vegetables are done well enough.

The yield is nearly 6-7 cups so the amount of oil is justified, isn’t it?

Serve with rasam, rice and sambar.



Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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  • meeso

    That sounds wonderful!

  • vegeyum

    That looks SO delicious!

  • Jagruti

    Lovely and tasty dish..;-)) your pics are superb..btw first time here and like your blog..will come here again for more posts!!

    cheers and do visit me if you can

  • Sunshinemom

    The pot that has received lots of comments happens to be a miniature form of a vessel called 'uruli' from Kerala. I have a huge one too that I received as a heirloom piece from my maternal grandmother. This miniature piece made of brass was bought at 'Adiga Silks', J.P.Nagar, Bangalore.

    Herrad, sincere thanks for passing me the award. Will have to live to up now:).

    Thanks all:).

  • Aparna

    I posted a mezhukkuvaratti sometime back too. BUt yours looks so beautiful.
    Its now a tough choice if you ask which I like better, your posts or your pictures?

  • Herrad

    Please come by my blog and pick up your Beautiful Blogger Award.


    ps its on yesterdays post

  • Malar Gandhi

    Wow, you are truly blessed, he welcomes you home with chai…chopped vegetables…good, good.

    Mezhuku-varatti, I simply love the stir-fried version so much better…it retains the distinct aroma.:)

  • Bong Mom

    I love the serving dish, what is it H ?
    The veggies sound a lot like our charchari without the beans

  • SriLekha

    its really a healthy dish!

  • jayasri

    I fell in love with your photography, and of course your write, Last but not least with your dish!!, just now I saw this post!!, as you disappear now and then!!, That pot is absolutely beautiful dear, Totally the whole post is great

  • Aparna Inguva

    Love Love Love the pot!… and the veggies in it

  • Cham

    I love ur utensils and of course the roasted veggie a very traditional one!

  • Vanamala Hebbar

    Nice pic…healthy recipe

  • Sunshinemom

    Thanks all!

    Shabs, I am fine, dearie! Soaking up the last few days of pleasant sun and getting geared to face the real heat!

  • Jayashree

    Nice pic. I like to squish this up with rice and some ghee and eat it like that.

  • Shabs..

    Looks so good!lovely recipe dear…how are u doing there?

  • jayasree

    Glad to read P is back. That must be much of relief for you. And thats a good news for the readers too since we will get yo enjoy more of your posts at regular intervals…

    When I ever make mezhukuparatti, i use the iron kadai so it gets roasted well. And nothing can beat the ones roasted over the traditional firewood chulah.

    Gorgeous clicks as usual.

  • Khaugiri

    Nice recipe, very new to me. Love the presentation!!!!!

  • Suma Rowjee

    Looks delicious and so beautifully presented! I have a friend and have eaten the Palakkad style of sambar and loved it.

  • Ramya Vijaykumar

    With all those veggies that you mentioned I believe the Oil will be the right quantity… The Roasted veggies look very tempting and comforting!!!!

  • Jaya

    I am always so amazed by the way you present the dish looks so beautiful, nice click.
    roasted vegetables looks so delicious.
    hugs and smiles

  • Ruchikacooks

    Lovely clicks, when I got married hubby used to tell me of all varattis (chakka varatti), eriseri, puliseri and I was so confused..If I show him this, I have to add it to my list of to cook palgat foods 🙂

    Looks tempting.pot is cute. curd rice–any day!


    Veggies look delicious and beautiful click.

  • Sharmila

    A very new recipe to me. And looks wonderful in that bowl. 🙂

  • Trendsetters

    very new and lovely recipe..

  • AMA's AnythingVegetarian

    I have heard it from my friends from Kerala.Yours count for a healthy ingredient black eye neans.Nice clicks.

  • Alka

    Awesome pics Harini, loved the elegance !
    Coconut oil..hmm now need to think about it, as I never really had tried it for cooking.But this one is tempting me enough to give it a shot

  • Usha

    My MIL makes this with vazhakai and it tastes awesome ! Loved your variation of it and the picture is lovely too 🙂

  • Shama Nagarajan

    delicious veggie..nice click

  • Preeti Kashyap

    Lovely recipe harini! I made it a couple of days back with vazhakkai! mezhukkuvarattis are so simple and tasty!

  • Rachana Kothari

    I love the pot in which you have served these yummy roasted vegetables:) Lovely click!

  • Sunshinemom

    …and I love you, Happy Cook! That was quick:) – Thanks!

  • Happy Cook

    I lov ethis dish and i love the pot yo have sreved them so traditional. Beautiful picture too.

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