Zucchini chana dal kootu, a delicious south-indian style dal recipe. A quick and easy kootu recipe made in instant pot and normal pressure cooker. This kootu can be served with both rice and roti.Jump to Recipe
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At home kootu is a everyday lunch menu. I make sambar less, but kootu and rasam, you will find it any day at my place for lunch. Reason? They are very easy to make, dump everything in pressure cooker and cook, add a tadka, or not. That’s it done.
Kootu, or south-indian style dal has everything, a whole food pyramid packed in it. Vegetables, dal, spices, coconut all in one. If you have a Kootu spice handy, then you don’t have to go through the hassle of making the spice powder.
We have many varieties of kootu. You can make kootu with just a chili tempering and sambar powder like this purslane leaves kootu, or make fresh wet masala with coconut like this Malabar vellari & chickpeas kootu.
If you regularly make kootu like me, then keep this Kootu podi/powder handy than you can make kootu in minutes like this amaranth leaves kootu or if you are someone who prefers freshly pounded spice then today’s zuchhini chana dal is your recipe.
Instant pot Kootu
With more and more people adopting the Instant pot cooking method, this zucchini chana dal kootu made in Instant pot is such a breeze. Just like your normal pressure cooker, add everything, seal and done.
The advantage of making of this zucchini kootu in Instant pot is, chana dal which usually takes a bit long to cook, cooks perfectly and as the bonus, it keeps it warm as long as you want. With schools and offices happening from home, the silent cooking with instant pot is such a blessing.
Kadalai Paruppu Kootu
Kadalai paruppu, aka gram dal has an unique taste and aroma. I always relate kadalai paruppu kootu to the wedding lunches. The Ashgourd kadalai paruppu kootu, served in tambrahm weddings, has an distinct aroma. The perfectly cooked gram dal which still holds its shape, with the right spices and the right consistency taste amazing when had with rice.
Today’s recipe zucchini chana dal kootu is a perfect fusion of West and Indian cuisine. . Even though it looks like a cucumber, you can’t eat it raw like cucumber. Though zucchini is not an usual Indian vegetable, it sure adapts to wonderful flavors of the Indian cuisine
If you don’t beleive me, check these amazing recipes. South-Indian style zucchini thoran and a zucchini masala curry from pavani’s space. Vidhya has even made a Zucchini platter and i love her zucchini thelpa, next in my list to try. Usha’s zucchini pachadi and zucchini rice are equally tempting.
- Beautiful green zucchini, i usually dont buy them, but a recent trip to Lulu hypermarket, i couldn’t resist myself seeing them so fresh. I have used around 500 grams of zucchini for this kootu
- Gram dal/chana dal/kadalai paruppu, the lentil used in the kootu. You can also use other dal like moong, masoor or a combination of dals. But trust me chana dal adds a unique flavor which shouldn’t be missed.
- Spices, I have used freshly pounded spice powder using equal amounts of coriander, cumin seeds and black peppercorns. You can also use my kootu powder.
- Coconut, do not miss this one, fresh coconut adds so much flavor to the kootu and adds up to the hype I m creating for a chana dal kootu.
- Tempering, regular south-indian ingredients like mustard, cumin, hing and curry leaves, though used less, adds so much aroma and texture to a dish.
Step by Step Instructions to make zucchini kootu in Instant Pot
Please check recipe card below for exact measurements of each ingredient used and also for the detailed instructions. I have used both instant pot and pressure cooker to make this kootu, so giving out the instructions for both.
- To make this delicious zucchini chana dal kootu, soak chana dal/kadalai paruppu in water for a minimum of 20 minutes. Wash the vegetables and cut the zucchini and tomatoes. Measure the spices and pound them in a mortar-pestle or use a spice grinder.
- Switch on the instant pot in saute mode for 10 minutes. Add oil, when it is hot, splutter mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves and green chili.
- To this hot tempering add chopped tomatoes, saute for 30 seconds, then add the chopped zucchini and saute.
- Add drained chana dal/gram dal, add the freshly pounded spice powder, add water, coconut and salt. Mix well.
- Close the instant pot, cancel saute mode, press pressure cook, set timer for 6 minutes. After the said 6 minutes, Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick pressure release.
- Open the instant pot, mash the kootu roughly with the back of the ladle, mashed chana dal adds some creaminess to the kootu. Incase the consistency is liquid, add a slurry of besan mixed with water to the kootu and let it boil in saute mode for 5 minutes.
- Add fresh coriander leaves to the kootu and serve this hearty zucchini chana dal kootu warm with rice and roti.
- If using pressure cooker follow the same steps, pressure cook it for 4-5 whistles, let the pressure fall on its own. Open cooker, check and adjust consistency, garnish and serve warm
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More Kootu Recipes
Zucchini Kadalai Paruppu Kootu | Zucchini Chana Dal Kootu | Instant Pot Recipe
- Instant Pot or Pressure cooker
- 500 grams Zucchini
- ½ cup Chana dal/Kadalai paruppu/Gram dal
- ¼ cup freshly grated coconut
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
- 1 tsp coriander seeds/dhaniya raw
- 1 tsp black peppercorns/milagu
- 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
- 2 tsp oil
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1 no green chili cut into two
- ⅛ tsp hing/asafoetida
- few curry leaves
- Wash and soak chana dal/gram dal/kadalai paruppu for atleast 20 minutes.
- Wash and chop the vegetables. I kept the zucchini skin. Chop the zucchini horizontally into half, then each half into 3 vertical slices and chop them into cubes. Chop the tomatoes and keep it ready.
- Since i m using freshly pounded spice powder here, measure them and pound them in a mortar-pestle. You can also grind it in a spice grinder.
Cooking in Instant Pot
- Plug the instant pot and turn the saute mode on for 10 minutes. Add oil, when hot, splutter mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves and green chili.
- To this hot tempering, add chopped tomatoes, saute for a minute, now add the chopped zucchini and saute.
- To this add the drained chana dal and freshly pounded spice powder. Mix well.
- Add around 2- 2.5 cups of water to this. Add salt, fresh coconut and turmeric powder to this.
- Close the instant pot, cancel the saute mode, press pressure cook and set timer for 6 minutes. I use Instant Pot Duo plus, if you use any other model and have to turn the valve or any extra steps, kindly follow that.
- After the said time of pressure cooking, let the instant pot release pressure naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick pressure release.
- Open the instant pot, mash the dal with the back of the ladle. Mashed chana dal adds creaminess to the kootu.
- If you find the kootu to be little runny, then add a slurry of either 1-2 tsp rice flour/gram flour mixed with the kootu liquid, add it to the kootu, mix well and let it boil in saute mode for 5 minutes.
- Add fresh coriander leaves to the kootu and serve it warm with rice or roti
Cooking in Indian Pressure cooker
- Follow the above instructions and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.
- Check and adjust consistency, Garnish and serve it warm with rice or roti.
- Any leftover kootu can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for a day or two. While serving, reheat it for 30 seconds – 1 minute and serve it warm.
To make slurry to thicken the kootu
- 1-2 tsp gram flour/rice flour mixed with 1/4 cup of kootu liquid or water. Make a smooth liquid and pour it into the kootu and let it boil for 5 extra minutes.
- The consistency of the kootu, can be little runny as we dont have any thickening agent in the kootu other than chana dal.
- That is why after opening the kootu, i mention to mash it roughly with the back of the ladle. The mashed chana dal adds creaminess to the kootu.
- Even after that if you find it runny, then use the slurry and boil it for 5 minutes to adjust the consistency.
This flavorsome zucchini kootu makes a wonderful combination for lunch with rice or roti. The day i made this , i paired it with hot roti’s and served it for lunch. They make a great lunch box recipe and pairs pretty well with any mixed rice too.
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