ASH GOURD KOOTU
During the summer months it is better to have more of vegetables that have a higher water content. One such is Ash Gourd, also known as White Pumpkin or Winter Melon.
We call this "Kuvale" in my mother tongue, Konkani. It is called, "Boodagumbala " in Kannada, "Petha" in Hindi, and "Vellai Poosinikai" in Tamil.
Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for our Konkani style Kuvale Sasam, for Ash Gourd Mor Kuzhambu from Tamilnadu and for Ash Gourd Pumpkin Coconut Stew from Kerela.
Today's recipe has been adapted from Vellai Poosanikai Kootu by Subbu's Kitchen. This dish does not call for the use of onion and garlic so can be made when you wish to avoid using these ingredients.
We enjoyed this kootu with hot steamed rice and spicy rasam.
- Ash Gourd, 250-300 rms
- Bengal Gram (Channa Dal), 1/4 cup
- Water, 1 cup
- Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
- Salt, to taste
- Torn Curry Leaves, a few
- Coconut Oil, 1 tsp
To Be Ground To A Smooth Paste:-
- Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1/3 cup
- Green Chillies, 2
- Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp
- Soaked Raw Rice, 2 tsp
- Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp
- Split Urad Dal, 1 tsp
- Red Chilli, broken into halves, 1
- Curry Leaves, a few
- Coconut Oil, 2 tsp
Wash, peel and cube the ash gourd into bite-sized pieces
Wash the Bengal Gram (Channa Dal ) and pressure cook with adequate water for about 2-3 whistles. Once the cooker cools remove the cooked dal and keep aside. There is no need to mash the cooked dal.
Soak the raw rice for about 10 minutes in a little water, then discard the excess water
In a mixer jar grind together the coconut gratings, cumin seeds, green chillies and the soaked rice, adding water as required, to a smooth paste and keep aside
In a vessel, cover and cook the ash gourd pieces along with 1 cup of water and a little turmeric on medium heat, till the ash gourd gets done but remains firm. Take care to see it does not get overcooked.
To this add the cooked channa dal and the ground paste just prepared, salt to taste and mix well
Add a few torn curry leaves, 1 tsp of coconut oil and a little water as required to adjust the consistency and bring this to a boil
In a small tadka pan , heat 2 tsp of coconut oil and on medium heat add the mustard seeds and when they splutter add the urad dal and sauté till it changes colour
Add broken red chilli and a few curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds
Pour this seasoning on to the ash gourd kootu
Serve as a side dish with steamed rice and rasam
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