Kootu is a dish made with vegetable and lentils and is a part of the sadya/feast. Kootu has a semi-solid consistency and is mildly flavored. It is usually served with some tangy and spicy South Indian gravy.
Chow chow or chayote is often used for making kootu. I have made this kootu with chana dal, but some make it with toor dal and moong dal. Kootu is usually thick in consistency and goes well with sambar, vatha kuzhambu, pulinkari and other tangy kuzhambu varieties. Or you can just have it with some plain rice, papad and pickle.
Chow chow - 1
Chana dal / Kadala parippu - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Whole dry red chillies - 2
Jeera / Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Whole dry red chilly - 1, halved
Curry leaves - few
1. Wash and scrap the skin of chow chow lighltly and cut into small cubes.
2. Wash and soak the chana dal for 1 hour. Drain and add to a cooking vessel. Cook the chana dal by adding 1 cup water till half cooked.
3. When the dal is half done, add the chow chow, turmeric powder, salt and mix well. Cook till the chow chow becomes soft and tender.
4. Meanwhile grind the coconut, red chillies and jeera to a smooth and thick paste by adding little water.
5. Add this ground paste to the chow chow and mix well. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
6. In a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. When it crackles, add red chilly and curry leaves. Pour over the kootu and mix.
1. Instead of soaking and cooking chana dal in vessel, you can pressure cook the chana dal for 2 whistles and add once the chow chow is cooked.
2. The chana dal should be cooked till becomes soft but not mushy.
3. Do not add more water else the kootu will become watery.