Chana Dal Kootu is one of my favorite dishes when it comes to veg. Amma used to make it in a more thick form along with kaara kozhambhu (Spicy Tamarind Curry). I had done this recipe only thrice at home, my husband never really loved it, so in order for him to like it (or you can say that I want to have it often) I altered the recipe a bit so that he will atleast have it. To my surprise he actually started to enjoy this recipe.
Kootu is basically a dal side / semi-gravy with vegetables like peerkangai (ridge gourd) or chow chow (chyote squash), along with coconut and chana dal. Its very unlike the usual dal preparations where we do not use coconut in them. Usually amma does the tadka with coconut oil for the burst of coconut flavor but I altered it with normal cooking oil and made it more like a curry. Nevertheless it does not lack in flavor and taste. My way of serving this is with white rice and pappad~ a total comfort food indeed.
Recipe Source ~ Amma
Cook time ~ 20 mins
Prep time ~ 1 hour
(please refer notes before doing the recipe)
Chana Dal - 1 cup (or use any yellow dal)
Peerkangai/Ridge Gourd - 1 big, skin scrapped & chopped
Hing - a generous pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Whole Red chili - 2
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Shredded coconut - 4 tbsp
Whole Jeera/ cumin - 1 tsp
Green chilli - 3 slit
Oil - 1 tsp (to temper)
Salt - to taste
- Soak the chana dal for an hour. Later pressure cook for 2-3 whistles along with 1 cup water, salt, turmeric, red chili and hing. Prepare the ridge gourd by scraping the hard skin and chopping into 1 cm pieces
- In a non stick pan heat oil, crackle the mustard seeds add the red chili, ridge gourd and when it changes color add the pressure cooked dal.
- Grind the coconut, green chili, curry leaves and jeera to a course paste with little water and add this to the dal.
- Bring it to a boil and let it cook for 5 mins, switch off
Serve hot with white rice and pappad.
- Replace chana dal with your favorite yellow dal like thoor or moong
- Tempering can also be done seperately and added to the curry in the end
- You can also use coconut oil to temper for additional flavor
- Some other vegetable that can be used for this kootu is chow chow.
- Adding red chilli is optional adjust according to spice tolerance
- I made this dal like a curry so I added 1/2 cup more water and pressure cooked for 3 whistles you can also reduce it to 2 whistles if you don't want the dal too mushy