Saturday, February 13, 2010

Quick Parangikkai Koottu (Pumpkin Lentil Stew)

Being a big fan of Koottu, I'm always looking for ways to make it quickly. Koottu is a wonderful Tamilian stew that is nutritious, low-fat and filling. A good introduction to some of the ways to make Koottu can be found here. While I love the Pal koottus, Mor Koottus and Araichuvitta varieties(ones involving grinding), I'd settle for an easy short cut Koottu on a busy day.


1 C Pumpkin, cut into small cubes
1/2 C Chana Dhal(Bengal Gram Dhal)
2 Green Chillies
1 Red Chilli
1/2 t Turmeric
1 T Sambhar Powder
1 T Coconut, grated
10-12 Curry leaves
1 T Cilantro, minced
1 t Mustard seeds
1 t Urad Dhal
Asafoetida, a pinch
Salt, to taste

Start out by washing the Chana Dhal and boiling it in a pot with 2C water. While the Dhal is boiling, peel and dice the pumpkin, slit the green chillies. After 20 min, when the Dhal still retains the shape, but is mostly cooked, add the pumpkin pieces and the green chillies. Cover and let it cook for 10 more minutes, adding water as needed. Add Sambhar powder, salt and turmeric and cook for 5 more minutes. Prepare a tempering by heating the oil, sputtering mustard seeds, Urad Dhal, Red Chilli, Asafoetida and Curry leaves. Add to the cooked Dhal and pumpkin mixture and remove from the heat. Add the grated coconut(frozen works okay) and the cilantro.

This koottu tastes delicious with Rice/Chapattis. Using a pressure cooker would make the cooking process even faster and more energy-efficient.

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