Vegetable Kootu recipe
Vegetable Kootu

Vegetable Kootu

Prep Time + Cooking Time - 45 minutes

Servings - 6 cereal bowls or 10 large katoris

Serving size - 1 cereal bowl or 1 large katori

Ingredients

Grains

Protein / Dairy

  • ¾ cup tuvar dal (lentil)
  • 1 cup soybeans
  • 1 cup green peas
  • ¾ cup Indian peanuts

For the masala -

  • 3 tablespoons of urad dal

Oil

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil

Vegetables / Fruits

  • 8 to 10 Campari tomatoes chopped
  • 1 packet butternut squash 12 oz. or 340 g
  • 1 packet baby carrots 16 oz. or 454 g
  • 1 large onion sliced into long pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 cup sliced green beans
  • 2 large potatoes sliced into bite size pieces
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and sliced into bit size pieces

For the masala -

  • 1 large onion
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut

Herbs / Spices / Seasoning / Sauce 

  • One sprig of curry leaves
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • Iodized salt to taste

For the masala -

  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 10 dry red chillies
  • a sprinkle of hing

Method

Vegetables rich in vitamin C and antioxidants like beta carotene

1. Slice carrots, bell pepper, green beans, onion, potatoes and sweet potato into bite size pieces. Add green peas and butternut squash to the sliced vegetables. Sweet green peas and butternut squash add sweetness to the dish. If you prefer a more spicy or savory dish, use regular green peas.

Kootu is a popular South Indian recipe with seasonal vegetables

2. I use onions as a sliced vegetable and as an ingredient in kootu masala.

Adding lots of vegetables

3. This dish is rich in beta carotene which is found in carrots, sweet potato, and butternut squash.

 

Adding more vegetables

4. Tuvar dal, soy beans, green peas and peanuts are a vegetarian source of protein in this recipe.

Pressure cook the lentils, beans and vegetables

5. Rinse the tuvar dal and add chopped tomatoes, soybeans and turmeric powder. Pressure cook the dal using about 1.5 to 2 cups of water depending on the desired consistency of the kootu.

Only tuvar dal needs water to be pressure cooked

6. I don’t add water to the vegetables that are being pressure cooked. Pressure cooking softens vegetables, adding water to the vegetables during pressure cooking makes them mushy. I use more vegetables for making kootu versus sambar, so I use a pressure cooker that fits 3 stainless steel containers.

7. Using unpeeled tomatoes and potatoes helps to retain nutrients. Bioavailability of nutrients is increased when tomatoes are cooked.

Peanuts add a crunchy texture

8. Roast the peanuts for 5 to 6 minutes in a toaster oven at 325°F.

Spices and urad dal for the kootu masala

9. I roast and grind my kootu masala while the dal and vegetables are cooking.

Coconut and onion add a chutney like texture to the kootu masala

10. I use less coconut in my kootu masala and instead add 1 large onion to get the desired texture. This helps reduce saturated fat content.

Roasted kootu masala

11. Use a low heat setting to roast urad dal, cumin seeds, black pepper, hing and dry red chillies in canola oil. Olive oil tends to burn easily when used for roasting spices or seasoning.

Use less water for a chutney like consistency and more water for a sauce like consistency

12. Grind the roasted masala along with the grated coconut and onion with a little water. I use frozen coconut as it is easily available in the Indian grocery stores in the United States and it is so convenient.

Though the spices have been roasted before grinding, the onion and coconut are raw and need to be cooked

13. Simmer this wet masala over low heat.

Season mustard with curry leaves separately and add to the kootu at any time for a traditional South Indian aroma and flavor.

14. Add curry leaves after 2 to 3 minutes. If you prefer to use mustard seasoning, you can add curry leaves at that time. I prefer to use peanuts in my recipe to add healthy fat content and skip seasoning.

Simmer the kootu masala on low heat

15. The kootu masala is cooked when it thickens and starts separating from the sides of the pot.

Final step in cooking my favorite delicious nutritious South Indian dish

16. Now add the pressure cooked dal and vegetables to the sautéed masala and add salt to taste. Stir and simmer over low heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Urad dal tends to stick to the pot and burns easily. Mix in the roasted peanuts just before turning off the stove.

17. This is a traditional South Indian recipe that is served with white rice. My Indian American family also enjoy it with wheat roti or as a nutrient rich savory soup with sandwiches. You can vary the amount of water used during cooking to get the desired consistency.

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