Kootu | Traditional south Indian stew with lentils and vegetables with roasted spices and coconut :
Toor Dhall – 1/2 cup
Cabbage – 1/2 cup chopped fine . you can use your choice of vegetables for eg. beans/carrot/peas, soorna gadde or suvarna gadde (Elephant Yam), spinach, green plantain(1chopped),snake gourd (1/2 chopped), Chayote etc
Peanuts – 10-12
Salt to taste
Turmeric Powder – 1/8 tsp
Water as needed
Urad Dhall – 2 Tbsp
Chana Dhall – 1/2 Tbsp
Red Chilli (Byadige or Kashmiri Chilli) – 2 (if you like it really spicy, add 1 spicy red chili as well)
Whole Pepper – 1/2 Tbsp
Hing(Asafoetida) – 1 pinch
Coconut grated (fresh/frozen thawed) – 1/2 cup with the roasted, cooled ingredients as above.
For tadka (oggarne)(tempering):
Oil – 2 tsp
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – 4-5
Hing – 1 pinch
First, wash well, drain and cook the toor dhall with 2 cups of water with turmeric powder in the pressure cooker. Simmer at the first whistle and cook for 20-25 min and switch off Allow the cooker to cool naturally. The dhall should be mushy and well cooked.
In another vessel, to the chopped cabbage (or other vegetables of your choice), add peanuts and enough water to cover it and cook until peanuts are tender. Do not over cook. Drain.
While the above is ongoing, dry roast the chana dhall, urad dhall, red chillies, pepper until the dhalls turn slightly brown. Add hing towards the end. Switch off the heat and continue roasting until it turns slightly deeper brown.Take care not to allow it to darken too much and burn. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool.
Now transfer the ground mix , cooked vegetable(cabbage)& peanuts, cooked toor dhall into the same vessel used for cooking the vegetables. Add additional water and salt , to bring it to a sambar consistency(But do not make it too thin). Bring it to a nice boil. It will thicken once cooled.
Prepare tempering in a small pan adding 2 tsp oil, once heated add mustard seeds. Once they pop, add curry leaves, hing, switch off the heat immediately. Transfer this to the cooked Kootu.
Kootu is ready! Serve with hot rice. Also goes well with chapati/roti.
Any raitha will be a good accompaniment.As also ‘hapla'(papad)