Comfort food in our house means rotis with kootu, “thayir “(curd) and pickles. Dry vegetables can be, well, too dry for Chennai, and gravies can become too spicy. Besides there aint any quicker way to prepare vegetables than the classic Tamil Kootu way. There are of course a few ways in which one can make these mildly flavoured lentils depending on vegetables. I have made a plain version similar to what is usually used for cabbage.
For the actual Poricha kootu version, refer to the Drumstick Kootu I had posted earlier.
This is my entry for Shaheen’s Summer Express Cooking event. But this isnt really an express meal, in fact its pretty relaxed!!! And takes under 20 minutes.
Preparation time: 5 mins, Cooking time: 15 minutes, Serves: 2-3
- Snake Gourd – 250 gms
- 3/4 cup Moong Dal
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 tbsp Grated Coconut
- 2 nos Red Chillies
- 4 twigs Fresh Coriander
- a pinch of Hing/ Asafoetida
- 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Urad Dal
- Salt to taste
- Oil for Cooking
- 1 1/2 cups Wheat Flour
- 1 tsp Ghee
- Water to Knead
- Salt to Taste
- Put Moong Dal with 2 cups of water and turmeric powder to steam in a pan or pressure Cooker.
- Fry Red Chillies in a 1 tsp for oil. Turn off the heat and add Grated coconut. Keep aside for cooling. The coconut should have just a mild golden colour.
- Wash the Snake Gourd. Cut it length wise into two, remove seeds and slice into small semi circles.
- Wash and roughly chop the coriander leaves.
- Turn off the Cooker or Pan.
- Put the Snake Gourd in a Microwave Safe Bowl with Hing, sprinkle a few drops of water and Micro on High for 6 minutes.
- While the Snake Gourd is cooking, knead the Wheat Flour with salt and water into a firm dough. Knead till the dough is elastic. Add the Ghee to the dough towards the end, divide into 10 rounds and set aside.
- Grind the roasted red chillies and coconut to a fine paste with 1 tsp water.
- The Snake Gourd would have finished cooking in the Microwave and pressure released from the Cooker. Remove the Moong Dal and mash lightly.
- Add the Moong Dal, Salt and Coconut-Red Chilli Paste to the Snake Gourd in the Microwave Container. Mix well, and Micro on high for four minutes.
- Set the Roti Skillet on a low flame. Take a plate or a basket with a clean cloth on it to set aside the rotis.
- Press one round ball of the Roti Dough flat lightly with your palms on a flat surface. Roll over the pinwheel evenly, turning the flattened round slowly. Bring sides together and roll out into a circle again. This should give you a perfectly shaped (ok, may be fairly) round roti.*
- Put the roti on the skillet. Cook both sides for a few seconds on a low flame. Increase flame to high when small whitish or pinkish spots or air pockets start to appear. Cook the other side. Repeat this until brown spots appear on both sides.
- Proceed similarly with all the other rotis.
- Remove the Snake Gourd Kootu from the Microwave. Add chopped coriander leaves. Mix well with a ladle.
- Splutter mustard seeds and urad dal with a little oil on the stove. Add this tempering to the Snake Gourd Kootu.
Serve Hot with Curd and Pickles.
*It is always better to use dough that has been set aside for at least 20 minutes. Fresh dough may not puff much. Folding dough and rolling out again helps.