“Kootu” in Malayalam means mingling or mixture and this is indeed a mix or combining of Black Chickpeas with veggies and coconut which renders awesome taste to the dish
No Kerala sadya (feast) is complete without the delicious Kootu Curry. Be it Onam, Vishu or any Occasion, Kootu curry is mandatory dish as part of lunch/dinner meal. Jaggery here offsets the spice levels and makes this dish delectable in taste .
Now there are slight variations to the dish across Kerala. North of Kerala to South of Kerala might have it’s own version, yet the base remains the same. Some of the regions add only Black chickpeas, yam and raw plantain (these 3 combos are must for the dish) while others add additionally White pumpkin/ ash gourd/snake gourd or carrots. So yes, you can play around with the veggies. I have had dish with 1/4 cup coconut paste to 3/4 cup coconut paste in the curry so it’s best to check what suits your taste buds
I have been asked if coconut oil can be replaced with regular veg oil, yes you may, but then you are also compromising on the authentic taste of the dish
Generally Kootu curry is served with rice, sambar, thoran, pickle and papad. Enjoy cooking this amazingly delicious curry!
Preparation time: 7 hours Cooking time: 30 mins Total time: 7 hrs 30 mins
- 1/2 cup Black Chickpeas/Kala Chana /Kadala
- 1 cup diced White Pumpkin / Ash gourd /Kumblangha
- 1/2 cup diced Raw plantain / Vazhakkai
- 1 cup yam diced (Chena)
- 3/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoon Red Chili powder
- 2 tbsp Jaggery grated
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 -1/2 cup grated Coconut
- 1 teaspoon Jeera (Cumin seeds)
- 1 tbsp Coconut oil
- 1/2 Cup grated Coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- 2-3 dry Red Chilies
- 2 sprig Curry Leaves
- 1 tbsp Coconut oil to drizzle
Steps to prepare
- Soak kala chana in water for 5-6 hours/overnight
- Clean and Drain excess water. Add to pressure cooker
- Pressure cook Chana with enough water and salt until tender. Chana should not go mushy, it should be cooked yet still hold it’s shape. Keep this aside
- I always cook yam separately ,somehow I find it itchy. If you do not have this issue, then you can cook all the veggies together. For people like me, add cleaned diced yam to pressure cooker with just enough water, salt, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder.
- Pressure cook for 2 whistles. Yam should only be 95% cooked. It should not be mushy .Discard excess water from yam and keep this aside
- In separate pan, cook white pumpkin and raw banana with water, salt and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder. Vegetables should only be 95% cooked
- While the veggies are cooking, grind cumin seeds and coconut to smooth paste.
- Add yam to the pan cotaining raw plaintain and white pumpkin
- Add the ground coconut paste to the veggies
- Add grated jaggery, red chili powder and salt mix well
Add chana with water to veggies and mix well
- Cook the curry until raw taste of coconut disappears
- Let’s prepare the seasoning. In separate pan, heat coconut oil and add mustard seeds
- Once mustard seeds splutter, add grated coconut, dry red chilies and curry leaves
- Saute the mixture until coconut browns. Do not burn or blacken the coconut
- Add this seasoning to the curry and mix well. Switch off
- Drizzle 1 tbsp Coconut oil on top. Cover and let the curry rest on the counter for 20 minutes to allow flavors to infuse in.
- Serve curry warm with rice