Malabar vellari & chickpeas kootu, a south-indian style dal made with Indian yellow cucumber, chickpeas and freshly ground spice with coconut.
What is Kootu
Kootu (Tamil:கூட்டு) is a Tamil word means to add, combine, mix. In the dish, vegetables are combined with lentils to make the dish kootu. Not only vegetables, you can combine legumes like chickpeas, black-eyed peas, edible flowers etc to make kootu.
I have quite a few varieties of kootu in my blog, ashgourd kootu with masoor dal, zucchini kootu etc. This drumstick flowers kootu is a delicacy made with fresh drumstick flowers/moringa blossoms when they are in season.
An elaborate South-indian thali always includes kootu. A festive thali has 2 dry curries, 1 kootu along with sambar, rasam, and of course payasam and vadai. Like this Tamil year Lunch
Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot
Pressure cooker is a blessing when making kootu. Kootu is an easy to cook dish. Just dump everything in the pressure cooker and cook it for 4-5 whistles. It gets done in literally few minutes. Recently I have started using my Instant Pot too for the making kootu. With IP, I cook 2/3 things at the same time.
Since it takes very less time, it is my personal favorite. I make kootu every day. Kootu and rasam is our regular lunch. Keerai kootu is my lil ones and my personal favorite, so i happily include a greens kootu in my thali regularly.
If you are in Instagram and follow my handle I Camp in my Kitchen or my #tag #icampinmykitchenlunch, you will know what I say. My everyday lunch thali, contains a kootu, dry curry and rice. Interestingly, I have posted 84 lunch thali’s under this tag. So, if at all you need any inspiration for lunch, do check my page.
- The vegetables, for today’s kootu i have used malabar vellari/Indian yellow cucumber, the same kootu can be done with other vegetables like cabbage, ashgourd, chayote etc.
- Dal, I have used a combination of moong and masoor dal in my kootu recipe today. You can use a combination or just one dal.
- Legume, i have use brown chickpeas in this kootu today. You can replace it normal chickpeas or any other legume.
- Spices, I have made fresh spice mix using cumin, coriander, pepper, tuvar dal, chilies and coconut for this kootu. I usually make kootu with my Kootu podi, which is a handy spice to make kootu everyday.
- Tempering, the most important part of Indian cooking, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and red chilies along with curry leaves is used.
- I served this part of my lunch thali along with broccoli stir-fry and paruppu rasam.
Step by Step instructions to make Vellari Kootu
Please check recipe card below for exact measurements of each ingredient used and also for the detailed instructions
- Wash and soak the lentils in water for 10 minutes. Wash, peel, remove the seeds and chop the indian cucumber into cubes. The chickpeas are presoaked overnight. I keep a pack of soaked legumes in my freezer so i have used it in the recipe.
- Heat a pressure cooker with oil, splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chili, hing and curry leaves, saute.
- Add chopped tomatoes to this and saute. Dump the chopped vellari/yellow cucumber to this and saute for minute.
- Drain and add the dal, and the presoaked legumes to this and mix well. Add 2-3 cups of water.
- Take the spices mentioned in a mixer jar and grind it to a paste with 1/4 cup water. Add this spice paste to the kootu. Add salt, mix well and close the lid and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.
- Let the pressure fall on its own, open the cooker, mix well and serve it along with rice.
If you have tried this recipe and like it, give it a star rating or let me know in the comments below. You could also share it with me on Instagram using #icampinmmykitchen and tagging me @priyasrinivasan.
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More Kootu Recipes
Malabar Vellari & Chickpeas Kootu | Yellow Cucumber Kootu
- Pressure cooker
- 3 cups chopped malabar vellari/Indian yellow cucumber
- 1 no medium sized tomato chopped
- ½ cup soaked chickpeas i have used brown
- ½ cup Moong dal/split green gram
- ½ cup Masoor dal/Split red lentil
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 tsp coriander seeds/dhaniya
- 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
- 1 tsp black peppercorns/milagu
- 1 tsp tuvar dal/split pigeon peas
- 1/3 cup coconut fresh
- 2 nos green chilies
- few curry leaves
- 2 tsp oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 nos red chilies
- 1/8 tsp hing/asafoetida
- few curry leaves
- Wash and soak the dal in water for 10 minutes. While the dal is soaking, wash, peel and chop the vellari/yellow cucumber into cubes.
- Take the ingredients given under 'To grind' and grind it to a fine paste in a mixer jar, using ¼ cup of water.
- Heat a pressure cooker with oil given under 'tempering', splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds, thrown in red chilies, hing and curry leaves.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and saute for a minute, add the chopped vellari/indian cucumber and saute.
- To this now add drained dal and chickpeas, Mix well. Add 3-4 cups of water, the vegetable should be covered with water, that is quantity we are looking for.
- To this now add the ground paste, add ¼ cup water to the mixer jar, shake and add that water to the cooker. Add salt, mix well.
- Close the lid of the pressure cooker, let it cook for 3-4 whistles. I sometimes allow 5 whistles too. Let the pressure fall on its own.
- Once the pressure falls, open the cooker, be careful of the gust of steam. Mix well. Serve this delicious kootu with rice and a generous drizzle of ghee.
- Any leftover kootu can be refrigerated for just a day. Since the kootu is made of dal and coconut, there is a high chance of it getting spoiled, if left outside for a long, especially in hot and humid climates.
Serve this delicious vellari kootu with rice and a drizzle of ghee. Enjoy it hot for the warm feeling. It is a wonderful recipe to pack as lunch too.
This vellari kootu can also be served with roti. We love to pair roti and kootu for our lunch.