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!




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


  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


  • 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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