This is a simple, tasty, and flavor packed vegan curry with pumpkin and can be served with cooked grains or flatbreads.
Kootu is a traditional stew from South Indian cuisine which is made with veggies, dal, and flavored with spices and coconut. This recipe uses the yellow flesh variety of pumpkin with a light green skin. This variety of pumpkin is called Parangikai in Tamil. This variety is amazing to make savory curries and stews as well as desserts that would wow anyone!
To make this delicious stew/kootu, the following ingredients are required
Parangikai - The variety of the pumpkin used is different from the orange pulp variety. Any variety can be used interchangeably.
Salt - adds flavor
Dal - Toor dal and chana dal are used in this recipe. These add to the flavor, protein, and texture to the kootu.
Coconut - Adds a nutty flavor to this delicious kootu.
Cumin - Enhances flavor.
Red chilies - This adds heat to the kootu balancing the sweet parangikai (pumpkin), dal, and coconut. Adjust the amount of dried red chilies as per heat tolerance and the variety of red chilies used.
Water - To cook the dal and veggies
Turmeric - Immune boosting and adds color
Cilantro - This herb is used as a final garnish and gives a fresh aroma elevating the flavors.
Tempering - Our traditional recipes feature a final step of tempering spices in ghee or oil. The spices used for kootu are dried red chilies, mustard, cumin, asafetida, split urad dal, and curry leaves. This increases the flavor exponentially.
Oil - Coconut oil is used in this recipe. This adds to the characteristic flavor and aroma. Any oil can be used instead of coconut oil. If a regular version is preferred instead of a vegan version, the tempering can be done with ghee (that adds another dimension of flavor).
What to serve this with:
This humble and flavorful parangikai kootu can be served with rice and ghee for comfort food. We love to have this parangikai coot with everyday roti as well. They match perfectly well complementing the flavors. But this simple vegetable stew is also fit to be served as a part of festive meals. No festive occasion is complete without a kootu, and Ashgourd puli kootu or this parangikai kootu are made in our home during festivals as a part of the festive spread, Thali, and as a part of Wedding feast too.
Which pumpkin to use in this recipe?
This recipe uses the parangikai, the variety with green skin and a slightly yellow flesh is used. This variety is great to make sambhar, curries, and soup, as well as dessert, Yellow Pumpkin Halwa. Any variety of pumpkin can be interchanged in the recipes as they are all packed with tons of flavors resulting in family loved recipes, forever!
More Pumpkin Recipes
Different varieties of pumpkin have different colors, yet add a touch of deliciousness to whatever you make with it. A simple araichivita Sambhar and Pakoda Kadhi with orange pumpkin is a heavenly dish to serve with rice or dosa/idli. Our family loves the combination. An easy curry with Lumina pumpkin, Lumina Pumpkin Olan, and this humble kootu with Kabocha squash are close to heart and they make a lovely meal when served with a bowl of steaming rice. Brown Butter Pumpkin Sage Pongal and Butternut Squash Methi pulao make a humble and tasty one pot meal. Breads, poori, quick breads can be made with pumpkin too.
For the September month, Priya suggested the theme of cooking with no onion and no garlic as the theme. In our home, most of our traditional recipes do not use onion and garlic. As soon as she suggested the theme, ideas ran in my mind and I whipped up a few recipes. But this recipe is close to my heart as kootu with steaming rice with a dollop of ghee is comforting food and I love this kootu from my childhood days. Plus, this recipe also used the secret ingredients turmeric and chana dal given by my partner, Seema. Have you visited her blog? I am wanting to try one of her recipe, Leftover Chapathi Mixture which sounds super cool and yummy.
If you are looking for more no onion no garlic recipes, you have landed on the right spot. This blog has tons of no onion no garlic recipes ranging from main dishes, rice, to curries. Raw Mango Poha, Instant Karuvepilai Sadam, Coconut Rice, Ellodharai, Vaangi Bath, Kanu Kootu, Keeri Poricha Kootu, Podi adaicha Kathrikai are a few to list here.
Parangikai - 4 cups
Salt -1.5 tsp
Turmeric - ½ tsp
Toor dal - ¼ cup cook in 1 cup water
Cilantro - 1 tbsp, for garnish
Kadala Parupu - 3 tbsp
Water - 3 cups
Coconut - ½ cup
Cumin - 1 tsp
Red chili - 3 to 5
Coconut oil - 1.5 tsp
Mustard seeds - ¾ tsp
Split urad dal - ¾ tsp
Cumin - ¾ tsp
Asafetida - ¼ tsp
Curry leaf - 1 sprig
Red chili - 2
Press cook the toor dal with a cup of water.
Soak chana dal for 30 min. Rinse and add it to a heavy bottomed sauce pot. Cook for 14-15 min with a cup of water until it is tender but not mushy.
Add the chopped pumpkin and then another cup of water, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the cooked dal, salt, and turmeric, and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
In the meantime, grind the coconut, cumin, and red chilies to a coarse texture.
Add it to the simmering coot. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Remove from the flame.
Heat coconut oil in a pan. Add the red chilies and mustard seed, when it splutters add the split urad dal and cumin. Fry until golden brown. Add the asafetida and curry leaves, fry for 20 seconds.
Pour this onto the kootu. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with steaming rice or roti.