Poosanikai Kootu (White Pumpkin or Ash Gourd with Bengal Gram in a Coconut Gravy)

Poosinikai Kootu, White Pumpkin and Bengal Gram in a Coconut Gravy
Poosinikai Kootu, White Pumpkin and Bengal Gram in a Coconut Gravy

Poosanikai Kootu (White Pumpkin or Ash Gourd Kootu) is a must at most Tamil and Kerala weddings. It is very simple to make, tastes great and is a favourite in my home.


  1. White Pumpkin, Ash Gourd, or Pooshanikai – 1/4 Kg
  2. Bengal Gram or Chana Dal – 1/3 Cup
  3. Green Chillies – 2
  4. Red Chillies – 2
  5. Grated Coconut – 1/3 Cup
  6. Cumin Seeds or Jeera – 1 tsp
  7. Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  8. Rice Flour – 3/4 tsp
  9. Turmeric – A Large Pinch
  10. Oil – 1 tsp
  11. Curry Leaves – A Few
  12. Salt to Taste


  1. Soak the bengal gram in water for about an hour.
  2. Peel, de-seed, and dice white pumpkin into 1/2″ cubes.
  3. Mix white pumpkin pieces and Bengal gram.
  4. Add just enough water to cover the pumpkin pieces.
  5. Pressure cook the white pumpkin and Bengal gram for just 1 whistle.
  6. Let cool.
  7. Using a little water, grind coconut, green chillies, rice flour, and cumin to a paste.
  8. Add the coconut paste, salt, turmeric, and curry leaves to the cooked white pumpkin and Bengal gram.
  9. Mix well.
  10. Heat the oil.
  11. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  12. Add split red chillies and fry for a minute.
  13. Add the mustard seeds and red chillies to the white pumpkin.
  14. Bring the kootu to a boil.
  15. Serve with steamed rice or rotis.


  • Soaking the Bengal gram helps it cook faster.
  • Be sure not to overcook the Pumpkin-Bengal Gram mix, otherwise you will have a “mashed” kootu.
  • You could substitute rice flour with an equivalent quantity of raw rice.
Poosinikai Kootu
Poosinikai Kootu


      1. I will the question is will my Garam masala fiend family like it too, but sometimes they really surprise me.

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