Good times don’t last for too long. I say this because we are almost at the very end of our vacation in India and we will be back home before we even realize it. I haven’t had a chance to finish my shopping and these last few days will be really busy with shopping and packing.
Today’s kootu is my mom’s recipe. I’m not sure where she learnt it, but she has been making it for years now. Green beans can be substituted with cabbage, spring onions or other vegetables of choice. This kootu is thick and is the perfect combination of vegetables and lentils. It is great to serve with either rice or roti.
Make the Masala: Heat 1tsp ghee in a pan, add all the ingredients for the masala, except for the grated coconut, fry on medium-low flame until fragrant and the seeds are lightly browned. Remove them into a small bowl, let cool. Grind along with the coconut into a smooth paste adding just enough water.
Cook the dal along with the chopped green beans until tender. 5~6 whistles in my pressure cooker does the trick.
Heat 1tbsp oil in a sauce pan, add mustard, cumin seeds and dry red chili; once the seeds start to splutter, add the curry leaves and onions. Cook until the onions are lightly browned around the edges.
Add the chopped tomatoes and tamarind. Cover and cook until the tomatoes turn mushy.
Add the cooked dal and the ground paste along with enough salt. Mix well and if the mixture looks too thick, add a little bit of water. Cook for 4~5 minutes for the flavors to mingle. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with steamed rice and some fried papads or chips.
* Homemade or store-bought sambar masala is a quick and easy substitute to below masala.