Cucumber Kootu


 

Cucumber kootu or ‘southekai kootu’ is a simple dal made with freshly ground spices and cucumber. Traditionally this curry is made with a special variety of cucumber (called Mangalore southekayi) used for cooking. That particular variety is not available here in Melbourne, so I use the Lebanese cucumber. Kootu is prepared with freshly roasted and ground spice which gives it amazing taste. This dal tastes amazing with hot steaming rice. Try this and discover a great new way to eat cucumbers!

 

 

Ingredients:

Cucumber – 3-4 medium, diced
Pigeon pea lentil (toor dal) – 1 cup
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Jaggery – a small piece
Tamarind – a small ball
Salt – to taste

For grinding:

Grated coconut – 2-3 tbsp
Red chilli – 3
Urad dal – 2 tsp
Coriander seeds – 3 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tsp

For Tempering:

Curry leaves – 3-4
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Oil – 1 tsp

Method:

  1. Soak the tamarind in some water for 10-15 minutes. Extract the water and set aside
  2. Heat a frying pan and add oil. Add all the ingredients for grinding except coconut and roast for 2-3 minutes. Grind together the roasted spices and coconut with some water
  3. Wash the toor dal and boil it with a few drops of oil until tender
  4. Add cucumber, ground paste, tamarind water, salt, jaggery, turmeric powder with 2 cups of water. Simmer until the cucumber is tender
  5. To prepare the tempering, heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the red chilli, curry leaves and asafoetida. Remove from flame and pour over the kootu
  6. Serve hot with rice

Notes:

  • You can pressure cook the lentil to save time
  • If jaggery is not available, add 1 tsp sugar instead

 

Fry the whole spices until aromatic

Fry the whole spices until aromatic

 

Grind into a paste along with coconut

Grind into a paste along with coconut

 

Simmer spice mix and cucumber with boiled dal

Simmer spice mix and cucumber with boiled dal

 

 

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