Extremely cooling, nutritious and tasty, the Malabar Cucumber is less watery than regular cucumber and adapts well to cooking. Girija Paati’s Malabar Vellarikka Kootu combines the cooling properties of the cucumber with protein rich lentils to give you a simple, filling and delicious dish, that is a meal in itself.
The South Indian Kootu is basically a lentil curry that can be made with a variety of vegetables and serves as a complete meal with rice or phulkas and Girija Paati’s Nellikai (Amla) pickle. This Kootu can be made with coconut – Kerala style - or without coconut – Tamil style. Both versions are shared below.
- Malabar Cucumber – 1 – medium – peel and chop finely*
- Yellow Moong Dhal – 100 gm
- Grated coconut – 2 tbsp
- Dried Red Chillies – 2
- Zeera – 2 pinches
- Coconut Oil – 1tsp
*can also be made with pumpkin
For the Seasoning:
- Mustard Seeds
- Curry leaves
- Cooking Oil
- Urad Dhal – 2 pinches
- Dried Red Chillies – 1
- In a kadai heat 1 tsp oil, add the 2 red chillies and urad dhal
- Grind the fried red chillies and urad dhal with zeera and coconut to a coarse paste, add water as required
- Cook the moong dhal with 1 cup water, turmeric
- When the dhal is half-cooked, add the cucumber, cover and leave to cook on a low flame
- After the cucumber is fully cooked, add rock salt and cook for 5 more minutes, then switch of the flame
- Add the spice paste to the dhal mix, if required add water to loosen
- Create a tadka of the coconut oil, mustard seeds, 1 red chilli and curry leaves
- Add the tadka to the dhal and close with a lid
- Serve hot
If you want to skip the coconut, then add the zeera into the tadka instead of the paste and use regular cooking oil instead of coconut oil. This is the Tamil version of the dish.
Download the printable recipe here.
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