March 6, 2009


If you are TamBrahm (or maybe just south indian), you’ve sure as hell had kootu. It’s such a typical dish in all our households that we more often than not don't miss it for quite a while before the thought of this savory dish fills our senses and you yearn to make it.


For the uninitiated, kootu is a kind of side-dish that is popular with any of the southie dishes like sambar, rasam or any kozhambu. People even eat it with chapathis though I wouldn’t recommend that. Intrigued? Go on…


1. Chow-chow (also called bangalore kathirikkai or chayote squash) – the most popular kootu base or doodhi (bottle-gourd/sorakkai) or some form of squash – peeled and cut in mid-sized pieces.

2. Moong dal – yellow – 1/2 cup, washed well.

3. Channa dal – 1/2 cup, washed well.

4. Salt to taste.

5. For grinding: Jeera – 2 tsp, White rice – 2tsp, Cocunut – 1/2 cup – fresh or dessicated, Rice flour – 1/2 tsp, dry red chillis – 3 nos.

6. For seasoning: 1 spoon oil, mustard seeds – 1 tsp, Urad dal – 2 tsp and well-washed curry leaves.


1. Put the first 4 ingredients in a pressure cooker. Add enough water to submerge all the ingredients and pressure cook for 3 whistles.

2. Meanwhile, put the 1 spoon of oil and add all the ingredients to be ground when the oil is hot and fry lightly. Take care not to burn any of the ingredients. Once the coconut is lightly brown, take off from the stove and set aside to cool.

3. Grind the mixture to a chutney-like consistency once the ingredients have cooled by adding sufficient water.

4. Add the ground contents to the pressure –cooked contents and stir well and bring to a boil.

Set aside.

5. Seasoning: Add a spoon of oil, sputter the mustard seeds, the urad dal till it turns brown and the curry leaves to fry lightly. Add to the rest of the ingredients and voilà, you have your kootu.


Bon Appetit everyone!


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