Another typical tambram food, which I made for the first time for the sumangali pooja. This was really good with a medley of tastes. A keeper which I plan to make often.
Pooshnikai Kootu aka Ash Gourd Stew
- 1 medium sized pooshnikai or as gourd, chopped into small pieces with the seeds and fibres removed
- 3/4 cup toor dal or red gram dal, cooked with a pinch of turmeric till mushy
- 1/3 cup chana dal or bengal gram dal, cooked with a pinch of turmeric
- 2 tsps coriander seeds
- 1.5 tsps bengal gram dal
- 6-8 dried red chillies
- 4-5 tbsps grated coconut
- a lime sized ball of tamarind, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and the pulp squeezed and the juice removed and kept aside. Alternatively use 2-3 tsps of tamarind paste
- 2 tsps oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp urad dal or black gram dal
- 4-5 curry leaves
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- In a large pan, take the chopped ash gourd and cook it with just enough water to cover the vegetable. Add some salt and turmeric powder.
- When the ash gourd is half cooked, add the juice of the tamarind and let it cook till the raw smell of the tamarind goes away.
- In the meantime, in another pan, with 1 tsp oil, fry the bengal gram dal, coriander seeds, dried red chillies and the coconut until the coconut looses all it’s moisture and becomes dry. Blend this coconut mixture into a smooth paste. Add a bit of water if needed to do this.
- When the ash gourd is cooked, add the cooked toor dal to the ash gourd and let it mix well. Bring it to a boil and then add the blended coconut paste and let it boil for around 5 minutes
- In a seperate pan, heat the balance oil and when warm, add the mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida, curry leaves and red chillies and stir for a few seconds till the urad dal is brown the curry leaves are crisp.
- Season the kootu with this and remove from the gas. Serve hot with a rice of your choice or any flatbread.