I grew up in a nuclear family with a sibling, five years younger than me. Flash forward 20+ years later, I ended up in a huge, I mean really huge family through my marriage to M. Just counting my husband's siblings' families, we are now somewhere around 70. It is almost like those large families in Indian movies / TV serials sans the drama and plotting, of course. :)) The new entrants to the family come from different backgrounds and regions ranging from Delhi, Gujarat to Karnataka.
Though I never had an elder sister, I acquired nine "akkas" (elder sister in many South Indian languages) through my marriage, in between my husband's sisters and SILs. Each of them is a great cook and I get to learn some new recipes each time we get to meet. This kootu comes from one of the SILs with a Tamilnadu collection. I have eaten kootu many times before but have never tried cooking at home as M is not fond of coconut. A kootu is a delicious variation from the regular sambhar fare and tastes good with hot, steamed rice.
1/2 cup chana dal / Bengal gram (or substitute half the quantity with toor dal. Kootu can be prepared with moongdal as well.)
1 chayote squash, peeled and cut into cubes (Veggies like bottle gourd, ridge gourd, cucumber or cabbage can be substituted.)
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup fresh, grated coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp rice flour (optional)
Salt to taste
For tadka: 1 Tbsp ghee, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp skinned, split blackgram / uraddal, a pinch of asafoetida and curry leaves
* I soak chanadal an hour before preparation but that is optional. Cook chandal, chayote cubes and turmeric adding water as needed in a pressure cooker until done. No need to cook until very mushy.
* Grind the coconut and cumins to a fine paste adding little water if needed.
* Add this paste, rice flour, salt and chili powder to the cooked dal and bring the mixture to a boil. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes and turn off the stove.
* Heat ghee in a small pan and add mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida and curry leaves. When the dal starts to turn brownish, remove and add to the cooked dal.
This is my third day entry for blogging marathon #12 under "delicious dals" theme. Check out the Blogging Marathon page to find out what other marathoners have been cooking.