Chettinad Kootucurry - with Chow Chow (Chayote)

Kootucurry - a comfort food.
Every region in the south has its special recipe for Kootu - a lentil based side dish; with the addition of vegetables and a mild seasoning. So also Chettinad. Our kootu is close to bland and without the addition of coconut, is recommended during convalescence. Generally, we would add 5 or 6 small onions, chopped into 2 along with the vegetable. (I do not use onions in my kootu.)
One "must do" for the perfect Kootu, would be to cook the dal in an open pan, as this ensures the right  consistency of the kootu.
When making with Vazhaithandu, quite often, we do not season. Ghee, jeera and fresh curry leaves are added at the end, and closed immediately until serving time to retain the flavour.
Some of the popular vegetables for Kootu are - Chow-Chow(Chayote), Snake Gourd, Ridge Gourd, Ash Gourd...

Chow Chow - 1
Moong Dal - 1/4 cup
Green Chillies - 4, slit
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Coconut - 2 Tbsp, grated
Salt to taste
Ghee - 1/2 tsp
Milk / Coconut Milk - 3 Tbsp

Oil - 1 tsp
Jeera -1/4 tsp
Dry Red Chilli - 1, broken into 2
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig, tear the leaves into 2 or 3.

Wash and cook dal in 1 cup water. Add in 2 drops of oil, so the dal does not boil over.
Wash and peel the chayote. Discard the seed and chop finely, into short matchsticks.
When the dal is half cooked, add the vegetables and simmer cook. If the water has evaporated, add extra water; in small quantities.
After a few minutes, add the slit green chillies (you can add some more if you want it to be spicy) and jeera. Stir often, and simmer until the vegetable is soft, adding water if necessary.
Add water only is necessary and that too in small batches as and when necessary. Otherwise Kootu will become very watery.
Add salt to taste, ghee and grated coconut.
Also stir in 2 to 3 Tbsp of coconut milk for added taste.

Seasoning is optional. If not seasoning - add the seaoning ingredients into the kootu along with ghee and mix through. Cover with a tight lid to keep the flavours in.

To season - Heat oil in a small kadai and splutter jeera. Immediately, add dry red chilli and curry leaves. Pour into Kootu.
Stir in thoroughly and serve hot.

One more Chettinad dish for the CBB @ Tickling Palates...


Valar Siva said…
Simple and yummy recipe!!!

kitchen queen said…
simple and delicious kootu.
Priya said…
Kootu curry looks so creamy and yummy..
R said…
so yummy and comforting!

Popular Posts