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Kootu is a Tamil term meaning ‘add' which is vegetables included with lentils to construe the dish, prepared from vegetables and lentils and are semi-solid in stability. In other words it is less watery than sambhar, but more so than dry curries. A traditional Tamil feast known as Virundhu Sappadu comprises boiled rice or 'Choru'(Tamil), rasam, curd, sambar, kootu, poriyal, banana, pickle and appalam. In most recipes kootus commonly comprises of few vegetables and lentils.

Ingredients Used and Popular Methods of Preparation of Kootu

Kootu recipe can be split into three stages with the first being the making of the kootu masala, the next being the cooking of vegetables and dal and lastly combining the two, stewing and tempering before serving. Kootu masala is made by fine grinding roasted dry red chilies, urad dal, peppercorns, dry coconut and curry leaves. The vegetables which include- green beans, carrot, cauliflower, onion, potato, eggplant or brinjal, tomato, etc must be boiled or steamed for being cooked. In a bowl, the kootu masala is mixed with the required amount of tamarind pulp and added to the cooked vegetables along with salt and asoeftida to be boiled. Once done, it is tempered with a spluttering of mustard seeds, curry leaves and groundnuts in hot oil.

Popular KootuVariations

Poricha Kootu is a kootu recipe also known as poricha meaning 'fried' using urad dal and pepper in Tamil kootu. Roasted urad dal, fresh coconut and pepper are ground together. Moong dal and the diced vegetables are cooked individually. Then, the ground paste, cooked vegetable and moong dal are combined together and heated. Vegetables such as beans and snake gourd are common in the kootu.

Araichivita Kootu is a kootu recipe having a ground or freshly powdered masala in it. The term araichivita in Tamil exactly deciphers to 'the one which has been ground and poured.' A combination of roasted urad dal, coconut, gram dal, coriander seeds or dhaniya and coconut forms the ground paste. The chopped vegetables and the toor dal are cooked individually. Then, the ground paste, cooked vegetable and dhal are boiled together.