The Interesting Probiotic Entremets: Oota

Oota is a spicy, non-greasy brine solution made from unusual vegetable. This brine is made of buttermilk. This can be made easily and can be stored in room-temperature for more than a year.

Years back at Raju Bhavan, our great grandmother, Mrs. Rajalakshmi, the wife of P. A. Raju Chettiar, who managed a household of minimum 50 members, used to prepare pickles in big jars. The jars used to hold at least 10 to 15 litres of this oota. My mother-in-law, Aravindakumari, and our favourite versatile cook, Jeeva Akka, sat together and would prepare the vegetables for this entremets. Then it was a tedious, elaborate work and would start early and continue for the whole day. They used to soak the kommu, wash and then peel them in bulk.

This tasty healthy oota is a good solution to be a probiotic. Normally in our household, we cherish this with upma and curd rice. We also chop these oota vegetables and add them to paniyaaram batter. This oota, when mixed with plain rice with one tablespoon of udupindi and one teaspoon of gingelly oil, turns the dish with a heavenly delight.

Ingredients Required for Making Oota:

  1. Curd – 1/4th litre
  2. Water – 3/4th litre

For Spice Mixture:

  1. Turmeric powder – 2 tbsps.
  2. Chilly powder – 4 tbsps.
  3. Salt – 4 tbsps.
  4. Mustard seeds – 2 tbsps.

Commonly Used Vegetables are:

Kommu, chikkidikai, tommakai


Churn the curd and water. Filter this using a sieve to get a smooth solution.

For the Vegetable:

Soak the kommu for at least one hour, clean it, and peal it. Chop them into one-inch pieces. Wash the other vegetables and chop the chikkidikai into one-inch pieces. Pat all the vegetables dry.

For the Spice Mixture:

  1. Grind the ingredients to a spice mixture using a little water to a smooth paste. Use a sieve to filter into this mixture.
  2. Mix the spice mixture to the prepared buttermilk and add the cleansed vegetables. Mix them thoroughly. Store this in a clear jar.