Cucumber kootu step-by-step recipe with photos.
About this recipe
Cucumber (southekai) kootu is a simple dal made with freshly ground spices. Traditionally, this dish 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.
Cucumbers are packed with nutrients. They are low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals. It contains antioxidants and is high in hydration. Toor dal is a great source of plant-based protein. They have a low glycemic index. Toor dal and cucumber combined together to make the dish highly nutritious and very healthy.
To make this kootu, I first grind coconut with freshly roasted spices into a smooth paste. I then simmer it with roughly chopped cucumbers and combine them all with boiled toor dal. It is really important to use freshly roasted spice mix here as it adds wonderful taste and flavour.
Kootu is prepared with freshly roasted and ground spice which gives it an amazing taste. This dal tastes amazing with hot steaming rice. Try this healthy dish and discover a great new way to eat cucumbers!
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Step by step instructions
1. Fry the whole spices until they are aromatic, taking care not to burn them
2. Grind into a paste along with coconut
3. Simmer spice mix, tamarind extract, salt, jaggery, and cucumber with boiled dal
4. Prepare the tempering (seasoning) in ghee and pour onto the kootu
- 3-4 medium cucumber diced
- 1 cup pigeon pea toor dal
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- A small piece jaggery
- A small piece tamarind
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 tablespoon coconut grated
- 3 red chilli
- 2 teaspoon split black gram (urad dal)
- 3 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 3-4 curry leaves
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- A pinch asafoetida (hing)
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- Soak the tamarind in some water for 10-15 minutes. Extract the water and set aside
- 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
- Wash the toor dal and boil it with a few drops of oil until tender
- Add cucumber, ground paste, tamarind water, salt, jaggery, turmeric powder with 2 cups of water. Simmer until the cucumber is tender
- 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
- Serve hot with rice
- You can pressure cook the lentil to save time
- If jaggery is not available, add 1 teaspoon sugar instead