Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Podalangai (Snake Gourd) Poricha Kootu

Kootu is just a mixture of dal and vegetables made into a gravy.  It is a healthy way of getting your daily dose of vegetables.   There are so many variations, it is hard to keep track of what each one is.  There is poricha kootu, mor kootu, masial, puli kootu, thalagam, molagootal etc., just to name a few.

Snake Gourd Kootu

My mom used to make some kootu or the other with seasonal vegetables, almost every day.  While growing up I did not appreciate the wholesome goodness of kootus.  I used to gravitate toward the dry curries – which need a bit more oil and are stir-fried.  But now, I love kootu and can eat it everyday.   

When I go buy veggies, I make it a point to buy sorraikai (lauki), paragikkangai, chow chow or some vegetable to make kootu with.  Occasionally my Indian store has podalangai (snake gourd).  I buy it every time I see it because it is a rare treat.  This time, I added kuzhambu vadam to my kootu.  My mom had sent me this.  It is a South Indian version of wadi and is completely optional.



Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup moong dal
  • 2 medium snake gourds
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
For the masala
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 3 – 4 red chilies
  • 3 tsp. urad dal
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • ¼ cup grated coconut
For tempering:
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1tsp. cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp. hing (asafetida)
  • 1 tsp. split urad dal
  • 2 red chilies
  • few curry leaves
  • few kuzhambu vadams, fried

Here is how I made it:

  1. Rinse the moong dal, add enough water and cook in a pressure cooker till done (about 10 minutes on low after the first whistle)
  2. While the dal is cooking, wash the snake gourd.  Cut the top and bottom tips off.  Cut it lengthwise in half. Remove the pulp and seeds and dice it.
  3. Add enough water and place this in a pot.  Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat a little oil.  Add the cumin seeds, red chilies, urad dal, and black peppercorns.  Fry on medium heat till the chilies change color.  Turn off the heat and let this cool
  5. Add the coconut to the fried ingredients and grind to a smooth paste with a little bit of water.  Set aside.
  6. Drain most of the water out from the snake gourd.  Add the cooked dal, salt, and turmeric.  Bring this to a boil.
  7. Add the ground masala paste and simmer for about five more minutes.
  8. Heat oil for tempering in a small saucepan.  Add mustard seeds, jeera, urad dal, and red chilies.
  9. When the mustard seeds sputter, turn off the heat, add curry leaves, and pour this over the kootu.
  10. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil to the same pan.  Fry the vadams (wadis) until golden brown.  Add this also to the kootu.

 Serve as part of a wholesome South Indian thali meal.

1 comment:

  1. Wow mouthwatering and very tasty looking recipe. I will definitely try this at home. Have you tried Pakistani Cooking Recipes I love all Pakistani Recipes and mostly the appetizers by zarnak sidhwa recipes


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