June 18, 2010

Simple Stew with Lentils (Kootu)

Here is a quick South Indian stew - what we call as a kootu in Tamil. In this version I made for dinner on a weeknight, I used the vegetable called Snake Gourd that I got from St. Louis. But any green vegetable would go well in a kootu. I used moong dal which is much easier to cook without a pressure cooker. In a pot, boil together a cup of moong dal and sliced snake gourd seasoned with salt  and a pinch of turmeric. Once the dal is cooked completely and the vegetable is soft, add 2-3 tbsp of shredded coconut. On a separate pan, heat a tsp of oil and temper 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds, 1/4 of cumin, a tsp of urad dal, 2 diced green chilies, 1/2 tsp of grated ginger and a few curry leaves. Add this to the boiling veggies and take off from heat. If it is too thin, add a solution of rice flour to thicken. Serve with rice or roti.

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