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.
- White Pumpkin, Ash Gourd, or Pooshanikai – 1/4 Kg
- Bengal Gram or Chana Dal – 1/3 Cup
- Green Chillies – 2
- Red Chillies – 2
- Grated Coconut – 1/3 Cup
- Cumin Seeds or Jeera – 1 tsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Rice Flour – 3/4 tsp
- Turmeric – A Large Pinch
- Oil – 1 tsp
- Curry Leaves – A Few
- Salt to Taste
- Soak the bengal gram in water for about an hour.
- Peel, de-seed, and dice white pumpkin into 1/2″ cubes.
- Mix white pumpkin pieces and Bengal gram.
- Add just enough water to cover the pumpkin pieces.
- Pressure cook the white pumpkin and Bengal gram for just 1 whistle.
- Let cool.
- Using a little water, grind coconut, green chillies, rice flour, and cumin to a paste.
- Add the coconut paste, salt, turmeric, and curry leaves to the cooked white pumpkin and Bengal gram.
- Mix well.
- Heat the oil.
- Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
- Add split red chillies and fry for a minute.
- Add the mustard seeds and red chillies to the white pumpkin.
- Bring the kootu to a boil.
- 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.