Monday 27 August 2012

"Onathumbikal Paadum Puzhayoram..." - Masala Kootu Curry

With just two more days to go for the special festival of Onam, most of you must be busy with Onam celebrations at your apartment complexes, clubs, schools and colleges. I love all the colour that Onam has to offer in every way, be it magnificent floral carpets, (pookalam) colourful Onam games such Pulikali and of course the much-loved grand and vibrant Onam Sadya!

The Kerala Sadya is very diverse and differs from one place to another. Each district in Kerala boasts of it’s own famous version of certain dishes on this grand spread. But I have to say that each of these versions are gobsmackingly delicious.

Today’s dish, the irrestible Kootukari or Kootu curry.

Kootu curry is yet another prominent dish in the Sadya of Kerala, South India. This dish is a combo of one or more veggies cooked with black chickpeas and red cow peas and flavoured with the irresistible aroma of freshly roasted grated coconut. And as I mentioned earlier each place in Kerala has it’s own version of certain dishes of the Sadya. The Northern part of Kerala prepares a sweet version of this same curry. But today, I have for you the Masala Kootu Curry.

No Sadya is complete without the famous Kootu curry. I absolutely am in love with this dish and don’t need a Sadya to gobble it all up, a simple and tasty sambar and steaming hot rice is just perfect!

So here you go, Masala Kootu Curry, just for you!


Raw Banana (diced) - 2 (small)
Yam/Chena (diced) - 1 and 1/2 cups
Curry leaves - 1 to 2 sprigs
Green chillies (slit lengthwise) - 3 to 4
Black Chickpeas/Kaala Chana/Karuthu Kadala (soaked overnight) - 3/4 cup
Red Cow Peas/Black Eyed Beans/Vanpayar (optional) - 1/4 cup
Grated coconut – 1 and ½ to 2 cups
Chilly powder – ½ tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Salt - to taste

For Seasoning

Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Dry Red chillies - 3 to 4
Mustard seeds - ½ tsp


Cook the Black chickpeas in a pressure cooker with adequate water and salt and cook upto 5 whistles. (cooking time differs from one pressure cooker to another, so adjust accordingly) Make sure the chickpeas is cooked well but holds it’s shape and is not mashed up. Drain water (if there is any excess water) and keep aside.

Cook the red cow peas (if you are using this in your dish) in a pressure cooker with enough water and salt for 4 to 5 whistles. (adjust cooking time according to your pressure cooker; again make sure it is cooked well but holds it's shape)

Cook the raw banana and yam cubes along with turmeric powder, chilly powder, green chillies, curry leaves, enough water and salt. Cook until they are done and the water evaporates completely. Throw in the garam masala powder, cumin powder, cooked chickpeas and red cow peas. Combine well.

Heat a non-stick pan and roast the grated coconut until it turns brown (be careful not to burn it). Crush it slightly (optional) with your hands and add to the cooked vegetable mixture. Check for salt at this time and adjust accordingly.

Preparation of Seasoning

In a small pan, heat coconut oil and splutter mustards. Fry the dry red chillies and curry leaves for a few seconds. (make sure not to burn the ingredients) Pour over the prepared Kootu curry. Keep covered for 10 minutes. Serve hot with rice.

Yum Yum Yum!!! :)


1. You can also use winter melon in this recipe.

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