December 14, 2011

Pudalangai kootu

Pudalangai (snake gourd) kootu cooked with moong dal is an authentic dish from south India. Kootu (gravy) can be used as a rice mix and also, as a side for sambar / rasam rice.

This vegetable while hanging in its creepers resembles snakes and hence the name 'snake gourd'. It could be interesting for some of you to know that there are few families (in & around my hometown) who don't cook/use this vegetable because of its resemblance to snake (Paternal side of my family doesn't use this vegetable). Before my wedding, I have actually tasted this vegetable only at friend's house / restaurants - and, developed a liking for its taste & flavor. Thankfully, there are no such restrictions at my in-laws. These days, I never miss to buy & cook this kootu for my family whenever I find fresh snake-gourd at the store.

Medium sized Pudalangai (Snake gourd) - 3-4 nos
Hing - small piece (about an inch)
Whole urid dal - 2 tsp
Red chillies - 2 nos
Black pepper corns - 6 - 8 nos
Fresh coconut - 1 tbsp
Cooked & mashed moong dal - 1 cup
Oil & Salt - to taste
Sambar powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Split urid dal - 1/2 tsp

Wash and cut open the snake gourds lengthwise. Run your fingers along the pith to clear off the seeds from inside. Cut it into small pieces and keep them aside.

Fry hing, urid dal, red chillies, pepper corns one after the another in a little oil until you get a nice aroma & urid dal is brown (Take care not to burn them). Once it cools, grind them in a mixer with fresh coconut.  Mix this with mashed dal & keep it ready.

Take 2/3 parts of water in a deep pan and as soon as water starts to boil, toss in all the cut pudalangai, turmeric powder, sambar powder, salt and allow it cook. Keep a watch so that pudalangai is not mashed. When its cooked & ready, add the dal & ground paste mixture and bring it to a boil (add some water to bring it to the consistency you like). Temper with spluttered mustard seeds, fried urid dal & some curry leaves.

Hot & tasty kootu is ready to be served.

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