Amaranth Leaves Coconut Kootu

Kootu (or Koottu) is a simple, yet delicious dish that’s made in most Tamil homes in Tamil Nadu in South India.  While it can be made at any time, it is especially important during some festivals, such as Pongal.

Kootu usually includes lentils and is perhaps similar to sambar and kuzhambu, but there is a variation that is similar to Aviyal in that lentils are not used but a variety of vegetables are included. Most kootus are spiced with a coconut, cumin and red or green chillies in a paste – sometimes spices are kept to a minimum and just a coconut paste is used. We have made this one with Amaranth Leaves.

This kootu is different from the traditional Aviyal style as the mix of ingredients is different. Each Tamil home has their own style of making this kootu and the vegetables chosen also differ from home to home.

The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Similar dishes include Aviyal.

Browse all of our Kootu recipes and all of our Aviyal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Sri Lankan Pineapple and Coconut Curry

As mentioned in previous posts, in India and Sri Lanka tropical fruits such as pineapple are often eaten sprinkled with chilli powder or black pepper (or maybe chaat masala) and salt. Lime juice or amchur can be added. Its delicious, easy, and a great outdoors snack.

But in South India and Sri Lanka, pineapple is also used in curries, often with coconut milk. This is a typical Sri Lankan Pineapple Curry with coconut milk, pandanus and Badapu Thuna Paha to flavour the dish. You can make your own Badapu Thuna Paha  (roasted Curry Powder), or purchase from a Sri Lankan or South Indian grocery. Or substitute any roasted curry powder.

Similar dishes include Pineapple Pulissery, Green Mango in Coconut Milk, Sri Lankan Okra Curry with Coconut Milk, and Aubergines in Coconut Milk.

Or browse our Pineapple recipes and all of our Sri Lankan dishes. Our Indian recipes are here, and Indian Essentials here. Otherwise, explore our Late Summer collection of recipes

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The Best Miso-Peanut-Coconut-Chilli-Turmeric Sauce

This is a totally magic sauce – it makes every dish you use it in very special. I use it in a hundred different ways – so many, you might want to make a double recipe. It will keep for 2 – 3 weeks in the fridge and it reheats easily.

The sauce is a combination of sweet, chilli and sour, with the tempering of the coconut milk and peanut butter. The sour flavours are layered in a tantalising way – you have palm vinegar or rice vinegar, lime juice, umaboshi and tamarind, and yet it is not too much. The sweet is layered with sweet soy and palm sugar. The heat comes from fresh green chillies and red chilli jam or paste. I usually have this one and this complex-flavoured one on hand – you can use what is in your cupboards, or you might like to make one of these so that you have some on hand. As always, because chilli pastes vary in heat level (and so does your tolerance), adjust the amounts in the recipe to your preference.

The sauce is a brown one though, or beige rather, from the soy, sugar and tamarind. But don’t mind that, it is delicious. Normally I would throw a heap of coriander leaves on top of the dish, but thanks to the record-breaking heatwaves we have had, the coriander fields are burnt to a crisp. However, do scatter some chopped peanuts over the top of your dishes using this sauce.

How is this sauce used? I drizzle the sauce on soups. Dunk noodles in it. It makes a wonderful sauce for deep fried tofu, or baked sweet potato, or steamed snake beans (or all 3 together). It goes beautifully drizzled over steamed, grilled or baked vegetables. Mix it through salads, especially Gado-Gado.  Pour around steamed dumplings.

You might like to read our Very Special Turmeric Recipes.

Similar dishes include Fried Tofu in Sweet Peanut Sauce, and How to Make Nut Butters.

Browse all of our Peanut recipes and Peanut Sauces. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Sri Lankan Pumpkin and Coconut Curry

This is a thick, creamy curry from Sri Lanka made from beautiful pumpkin cooked in coconut milk. It is tempered with spices and onions, adding an amazing aromatic and flavoursome note to the creamy curry.

The coconut milk base of the curry is flavoured with the Asian tropical flavours of pandan, chilli, curry leaves, Asian shallots and kaffir lime leaves. The Sri Lankan curry powder, Badapu Thuna Paha, is used too, but use a roasted curry powder if you don’t have this or don’t have time to make it. Simply roast your curry powder in a dry pan until it is aromatic and a darker colour but not burnt.

Flavours are layered so well in this curry, with unroasted chilli powder layered with the roasted Sri Lankan curry powder. (BTW, if you don’t have unroasted chilli powder, grind some Indian dried red chillies, or just use the chilli powder that you have.)

Similar recipes include Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry with Roasted Coconut, Green Mango in Coconut Milk, Sri Lankan Okra Curry with Coconut Milk, and Aubergines in Coconut Milk.

Or browse our Pumpkin recipes and all of our Sri Lankan dishes. Our Indian recipes are here, and Indian Essentials here. Otherwise, explore our Late Winter collection of recipes.

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Moringa Leaf (Muringayila) Thoran | Drumstick Leaf Stir Fry

Thorans are delightfully delicious, simple and quick dishes from the South of India that can form part of a meal, or can be eaten just with rice. Today our recipe is for Drumstick Leaf (Moringa Leaf) Thoran. The recipe is the same as all thorans – a tadka, some onion perhaps, the vegetable and some coconut. Delicious.

Similar recipes include Spinach Thoran, Cabbage Thoran, Green Tomato Bhajji, and Zucchini Thoran. And have a look at our collection of Thoran recipes.

Also try Moringa Leaf Dal.

Browse all of our Moringa Leaf dishes and all of our Thorans. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Thosai Sambol | Sri Lankan Coconut and Tamarind Sambol | Coconut and Tamarind Chutney

You can’t help but love this Chutney. It goes well with dosa and dosa-like dishes such as idli, paniyaram and uttapam. It can also accompany any Indian or Sri Lankan meal. A typical Sri Lankan meal will consist of  various curries, rice, roti and several sambols and side condiments, all served together to create a lovely layered blend of tastes. In many ways Sri Lankan Tamils took the Tamil Nadu cuisine and made it their own.

This sambol is coconut-y for sure, with a little heat, gingery and some sourness from the tamarind. It is divine!

Are you looking for chutneys and sambols? Try Carrot Sambol – a Jaffna-Style Salad, Red Radish Chutney, and Coriander and Coconut Fresh Chutney.

Or do you want Sri Lankan dishes? Have a look at Mung Dal with Coconut Milk | Sri Lankan Style, Red Radish Chutney, and Fenugreek Kuzhambu.

You can find some more Indian Chutney recipes here, and other Sri Lankan dishes here. Browse other Coconut recipes. All of our Indian dishes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take time out to explore all of our easy Mid Summer recipes.

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Pol Roti | Coconut Roti | Sri Lankan Flatbread

These Pol Roti are very popular in Sri Lanka, are eaten at all meals by many, and are particularly loved for breakfast. Pol Roti pairs well with curries, and Sri Lankan sambols, pickles and chutneys. They are even delicious with butter and jam!

A tawa is perfect for cooking them, but you can use any flat pan, griddle, hot plate or BBQ.

Pol Roti can be made thin or thicker. We have made them thick here, but you can choose to roll them out to a thinner roti. Chop the onions or chilli into smaller pieces for thinner roti.

Similar recipes include Quick RotiRoti from Goa, and Adai.

Our Roti recipes are here or explore other Indian/Sir Lankan breads. Have a look at other Sri Lankan recipes, or browse our Indian dishes. Or simply check out our easy Early Summer recipes.

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Pulse Ball Moar Kuzhambu | Buttermilk – Coconut Gravy with Ground Lentil Balls | Yoghurt Curry with Lentil Dumplings

Pulse balls, or lentil dumplings, are added to the moar kuzhambu (spicy yoghurt gravy) to make a delicious South Indian dish.

Moar (or Mor, More or Moru) Kuzhambu is commonly prepared in South India and is extremely easy to make, taking almost no time at all. This one includes the lentil dumplings and so takes a little longer. The base for this dish with the lentil dumplings is Moar Kuzhambu, but rather than add vegetables or vatral, balls of ground lentils and spices are made (pulse balls) and added to the base.

S. Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See set of books has 2 Moar Kuzhambu (Buttermilk/Yoghurt spicy gravy) with Lentil Dumplings made from ground lentils.

This Pulse Ball Moar Kuzhambu differs from the first version of this dish. The ground lentil balls are simpler and cooked in the buttermilk and coconut gravy rather than steamed. It is very delicious.

You might also like to try Avial – Veggies in a Yoghurt and Coconut Sauce, Yoghurt Curry with Drumstick Vegetables, Moar Sambar, and Okra Moar Kuzhambu.

You can find other Kuzhambu recipes here. If you would like to browse them, all of our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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Spicy Green Mango in Coconut Milk | A Classic from Kerala

Green Mango season brings such a welcome addition to the menu. Coming in Spring, its tang is a delight after the heavier flavours of Wintery cold weather. For this dish I chose a sweet-sour green mango, and it is perfect. A sour green mango would work well too.

Are you after other Green Mango dishes? Try Green Mango Dal, Mung Dal with Green Mango, Jicama and Green Mango Salad, Green Mango and Lemon Rice, and Vermicelli and Green Mango Salad.

Are you after other dishes from Kerala? Try Sweet Surnoli Dosa, Sweet and Sour Mango Curry, and Cabbage Thoran.

If you are after all of the Green Mango recipes, explore here. We also have other recipes from Kerala to browse. You might like to read more about Green Mangoes. Our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse all our Mid Summer recipes.

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Inji Thengai Thayir Pachadi | Ginger Coconut Yoghurt Salad or Chutney

Have I mentioned how important yoghurt is in our kitchen? We use it a lot – from lassi drinks, to salad dressings, to yoghurt curries, chilled soups, to pachadi dishes like this one, to all sorts of Middle Eastern dishes. We drain it to make it thick, we pile it on our overnight oats for breakfast and we drizzle it over fruit salads.

This dish, Ginger and Coconut Pachadi, can be used as an Indian Chutney (ie as a little on the side to eat with the main dishes) or more like an Indian Yoghurt Salad.

Try these recipes too: Dried Okra Pachadi, Bitter Melon Pachadi, Spinach Pachadi, Carrot Pachadi, Boohdhi Pachadi, Eggplant Pachadi, and Cucumber Pachadi.

If you would like some more ginger in your life, try this tea, Pickled Ginger, and a Ginger and Garlic Soup.

Take some time to browse all of our Pachadi dishes, all Yoghurt dishes and all Ginger dishes. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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