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Kootu is an integral part of any meal in South. The mix vegetable curry is great in its simple spice usage. Except for red chillies, Curry leaves and Turmeric, no other spice is used .Very rarely you find Cumin used in Kootu in Kerala traditional Palakkad recipes. Come towards Madras and other places in Tamilnadu, there is liberal usage of Cumin and other spices like cloves and Cinnamon etc. I will start with Palakkad type recipe first. It is in salutation to Great Cooks who come from Palakkad.

White Pumpkin/Doodhi 250 gms.
Elephant yam 50 gms.
Potatoes 50 gms.
Beans 25 gms.
Green Banana 1/2
Green peas 1/4 cup
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp.
Salt to taste
Kootu podi 2 spoons

Red Chillies 2 nos
Mustard seeds 1/4 spoon
Ulundhu parappu(Black gram dhall) 1/4 spoon
Coconut oil 1 ladle


Make kootu podi with 1 .5 spoons of rice, 1/4 spoon of Black gram dhall and two red chillies. Roast rice and chillies till the rice turns reddish. Roast the dhall separately till it turns dark .Now powder all together and set aside. 

De-skin the vegetables, shell the peas and dice the vegetables to 3/4 " pieces .Beans may be of about an inch in length. Pressure cook the vegetables in a pressure pan with little water, add turmeric powder salt and curry leaves before you pressure cook. Once done, remove the pan from stove and set aside. 

Take one ladle of coconut oil in a tempering ladle and add  mustard seeds, Red chillies (broken) and ulundhu parappu (black gram dhall). When Dhall turns dark pink, pour the tempering over Kootu. Reheat for another two to three minutes after adding Kootu podi . Serve hot with rice.

I am more in favour of adding some more Curry leaves when you are at the end. Cover the vessel for five minutes after reheating and adding fresh curry leaves. The subtle aroma of curry leaves in coconut oil is very tempting. 

You can make Kootu with different combinations of seasonal vegetables like potulagai, Gourds, Channa dhall etc.


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