Kootu is a favourite in our house – well, we just love toor dal, truth be told. With a snake gourd in the fridge, left over from making Snake Gourd Pachadi, we make this Snake Gourd Kootu. The same recipe can be made with cabbage, kohlrabi, amaranth leaves or spinach instead of snake gourd.
The gourd is finely diced in this recipe, so it disappears into the dal, and is a delightful surprise as you are eating. Gorgeous pops of green-tasting snake gourd in your mouth. It is wonderful served with rice.
Kootu with Finely Diced Snake Gourd
0.5 cup toor dal
1 medium snake gourd, peeled, seeds removed and diced finely
0.5 tspn turmeric
2 tspns ghee
2.5 Tblspn black gram dal (urad dal), washed
3 Indian dried red chillies, or to taste
0.5 cup grated coconut, frozen is Ok to use
3.5 tspn cumin seeds
1 tspn raw rice
2 tspn ghee
1 tspn brown mustard seeds
1 Indian dried red chilli
8 – 10 curry leaves
Cook the toor dal in 2 cups water until well cooked and beginning to disintegrate. Stir several times towards end of cooking, adding additional water only if necessary. Do not drain. Set aside.
Make the paste by grinding the coconut, rice and cumin seeds to a powder. Leave in the grinder. Toast the urad dal and chillies in the ghee until fragrant and golden, then add to the grinder and continue to grind until a fine paste. Add water if necessary.
Place the chopped snake gourd in a kadhai or saucepan with 2 cups water, salt to taste and the turmeric. Simmer until the gourd is tender.
Add the undrained cooked dal, and mix thoroughly. Simmer for a few minutes.
Add the spice paste to the kootu and cook a few more minutes. Remove from the heat.
Make the tadka by melting the ghee in a tadka pan or small saucepan, add the mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Add the chilli, and after a few seconds, add the curry leaves – careful, they will splutter. Pour the tadka over the kootu. Mix, cover and allow to sit for 3 or 4 minutes to allow flavours to meld.
Serve hot with rice.
recipe notes and alternatives
This recipe can be made with cabbage, kohlrabi, amaranth leaves or spinach instead of snake gourd.
To make Poritha Milagu Kootal, replace the chillies in the spice paste with a Tblspn of black pepper.