Kootu curry is another popular Kearla dish, which has found its way into the Palakkad Iyer Kitchens. It is an important part of sadhyas or feasts. Traditionally, yam and plantains are cooked along with brown channa or cowpeas and simmered in a coconut cumin paste, finally tempered with a flavourful tempering of fried coconut and curry leaves.
The recipe I am sharing today is slightly different. This is my mother’s recipe. She uses Bengal gram dal instead of the channa and also she doesn’t use plantains and uses ash gourd. Now off to the recipe:
Serves - 4
What you’ll need
- Ash Gourd – 2 cups, peeled and diced into small cubes
- Yam – 1 cup, peeled and diced into small cubes
- Channa Dal/Kadala Paruppu – 3 tbsp
- Grated Fresh Coconut – ½ cup
- Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Chilly Powder – ½ tsp
- Powdered Jaggery – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
- Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
- White broken urad dal – 1 tsp
- Scraped Fresh Coconut – ½ cup
- Curry Leaves – few sprigs
- Soak the Kadala paruppu for about 30 minutes and pressure cook it without making it mushy.
- Pressure cook the vegetables with turmeric powder, chilly powder and salt, adding about ½ cup of water, for 2 whistles.
- Grind ½ cup of coconut with cumin seeds into a smooth paste adding a little water.
- In a vessel combine the cooked vegetables, cooked dal and the ground paste and jaggery. Mix well, check seasoning and bring to boil.
- In the meanwhile, heat another kadai with oil.
- Temper with mustard seeds then add the urad dal, as soon as the dal starts changing color, add the coconut and fry till brown. Also add few curry leaves in this.
- Pour this tempering over the prepared vegetable dal mixture and mix well.
Serve as an accompaniment with rice and sambar.