Here is a recipe for Karnataka Style Kootu. Kootu is a type of curry with dal and mixed vegetables. Kootu differs from the commonly known Rasam (Saaru) and Sambhar in 2 ways. For Rasam and Sambhar the spice that gives the heat is dry red chillies. For kootu the heat is solely provided by black pepper. Also for rasam and sambhar we add tamarind to give a tangy taste. Kootu does not have any tamarind, so it has no tangyness. The cumin and pepper give a unique flavor to the currry.
Servings: This recipe makes about 4 quarts/4 litres of Curry (4 - 6 servings)
1 big bunch dill leaves / Sabsige soppu / ಸಬ್ಬಸಿಗೆ ಸೊಪ್ಪು
1 cup hyachinth beans/surti papdi / avarekaLu / ಅವರೇಕಾಳು
1 fistful fresh groundnuts / ಹಸಿ ಕಡಲೇಕಾಯಿ ಬೀಜ
1 small potato / ಆಲುಗಡ್ಡೆ
1 cup raw toor dal / ತೊಗರಿ ಬೇಳೆ
Salt / ಉಪ್ಪು to taste
½ tsp Turmeric /ಅರಿಶಿನ
few Curry leaves / ಕರಿಬೇವಿನ ಸೊಪ್ಪು
For masala(grind these)
2 tbsp channa dal / kadale bele /ಕಡಲೆ ಬೇಳೆ
1 tbsp urad dal / uddina bele / ಉದ್ದಿನ ಬೇಳೆ
1 tsp cumin seeds / jeerige / ಜೀರಿಗೆ
1 tbsp coriander seeds / dhaniya / ಸಂಬಾರ ಬೀಜ
1 piece cinnamon / chakke / ಚಕ್ಕೆ
1 tsp pepper corns / pepper powder / ಕರಿ ಮೆಣಸು
4 tbsp grated coconut / ಕಾಯಿ ತುರಿ
Seasoning / ಒಗ್ಗರಣೆ
1 tbsp Oil / ಎಣ್ಣೆ, Mustard seeds /ಸಾಸಿವೆ, Asafoetida/ Hing / ಇಂಗು, 2 Dry red Chilli / ವಣ ಮೆಣಸಿನಕಾಯಿ
Clean the dill leaves and chop them. Cook chopped dill leaves, hyacinth beans, fresh groundnuts with enough water in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook the toor dal too. Both will need 3 whistles. So you can cook vegetables and dal at the same time. Peel and cut potato into small cubes. Potato cooks fast, so no need to put in pressure cooker. you can add it later on.
Dry roast the Masala ingredients (all except coconut) in a pan and then grind all these ingredients along with grated coconut in blender with water. keep this paste aside.
Take a big vessel which holds about 4 litres . Pour the cooked vegetables and toor dal into the vessel. Add the potato cubes. Keep it on the stove on medium to high flame. Add salt, turmeric powder,curry leaves. Add the grinded masala paste to it. Mix well. You can add water and make it into desired consistency. The consistency is that of sambhar, not too watery. Stir it and bring it to a boil.Taste the curry, if you feel it does not have enough heat, add some pepper powder. Once it boils, switch off the stove. In another pan pour oil, add hing , mustard seeds and dry red chillies. Pour this seasoning into the curry. Kootu is ready. It is usually served with rice and ghee.
1. I have used dill leaves and beans as it is a personal favorite. You can use any sort of vegetables here. Another common combination is carrots, green beans, potato, peas[Mixed vegetable kootu].
2.Gourds are very commonly used.I have eaten kootu which had sweet pumpkin, ridge gourd(heerekayi), Ash gourd (budukumbala kayi ), bottle gourd (sorekayi), snake gourd(padavala kayi). these are used in some combination with other vegetables.
3. You can use any beans or pulses like black chana (kadale kalu), whole green moong (hesaru kaaLu), black eyed peas (alasande kaalu) etc.