Kootu is a popular lentil stew cooked in South Indian homes made with a variety of vegetables and spices. Kootu is a wonderful way to get the goodness of veggies and lentil protein all in a one pot dish. Have it over rice and you even have starch covered.
Kootu can be made with any combination of vegetables from pumpkin to squash, green beans to eggplant; broccoli and cauliflower, the combinations are many. Kootu can also be made with any type of lentils. The best part? You get a delicious flavorful vegetarian dish that is easy, healthy and filling.
About the recipe
I made this kootu with green beans from my garden. The kootu recipe was shared by my Aunty Vinatha after I posted photos of my first ever green beans harvest from my garden.
Aunty Vinatha’s recipe is a multistep process but each step is as easy as it gets. First, cook lentils until tender. Second, steam the veggies. Third, make a coconut spice blend. Then combine everything and warm through. How easy is that! A win/win in my book!
About the spices
We all know using spices in our cooking is good for us. Not only do they add loads of flavor but they act as anti inflammatories as well. In this kootu black pepper corns, cumin seeds, toasted mustard seeds and turmeric are what add fabulous flavor, and when combined with toasted coconut, you get a delicately flavored vegetable stew that is delicately spiced. Here is a recipe for veggie and lentil stew called Kootu courtesy of my Aunty Vinatha. Give it a try!
“Herbs and spices fight inflammation and reduce damage to your body’s cells. That’s because each one is rich in phytochemicals, which are healthful plant chemicals” WebMd
Kootu with Green Beans
recipe courtesy of Vinatha Mami (Vinatha Aunty)
- 1 lb green beans cut into medium sized pieces
- 1 cup moong dhal (small yellow moong lentils)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
- Juice of 1 lemon or 1 tsp tamarind juice
- Coconut spice mix:
- 2 tbsp grated coconut
- 10 black peppercorns
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- Blend the above ingredients together to form a dry paste and set aside.
- For Spiced Oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp Urad dhal (if you have)
- A few curry leaves (if you have)
- 1 green chili (seeds removed if you want it mild)
Cook the the lentils and green beans. Cook moong dhal with a pinch of turmeric until tender, and set it aside. Meanwhile boil the beans in a pot with just enough water so they get cooked . Now combine cooked dhal with the green beans.
Add the the coconut spice mix to the beans and dhal. Add salt per taste and stir together.
Get ready to garnish with spiced oil. In a small pan warm 1 tbsp oil. Add the Mustard Seeds and let them pop. Next add 1/4 teaspoon Urad Dhall (if you have) and toast until golden in color. Then add green chili and a few curry leaves . Fry in the oil for about 5 seconds and then turn the stove off.
Add the spiced oil to the kootu. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly. Turn the stove off.
Add lemon juice and stir in. Garnish with cilantro before serving with rice.