Kalan & Koottu Curry – Sadya Recipes


The choices for the letter K are many. Kadala pradhaman, Kaya related (raw banana is called kaya) curries, kalan, koottu curry and many more.

I chose Kalan and koottu curry.

We have many types of yogurt based gravies to go with rice. Moru curry is a simple curry, with no coconut added. Pulisseri is another one, which is a mix of coconut and yogurt. Many fruit based pulisseris (ripe mango, almost ripe banana and all are added) are there. Then you have kalan.

The dishes go by different names in different places. When I say Kalan, I mean only Kurukku kalan – the thick variety where in the yogurt is cooked till it’s almost dry. In some places, Kalan is not much different from Pulisseri.


That’s my friend’s pookalam for yesterday :-). The excitement is really building up as the day for Onam is getting nearer.

I am guessing that Koottu curry is a North Kerala dish, because what we have in Trivandrum is a different dish altogether. Some make Koottu using chana dal – that again is a very different recipe.

Koottu curry is basically made with small chana dal. If you omit this and the jaggery that goes into it, its almost the same as Yam/Raw banana Erisseri. This curry also has the roasted coconut added to it.


‘This and that’ info:

  • Kalan, made into kurukku kalan (the thick variety) can be used as a preserve as well. It stays well for months.
  • In olden days, this used to be a regular recipe in the kitchen. You shouldnt add the coconut while cooking, if you want to preserve it.
  • At the time of serving, you can grind a bit of coconut and mix it with the prepared kalan.
  • Fenugreek can be fried and powdered and added to the kalan. This gives a better taste. My mother, however doesn’t do that.
  • The yogurt should be well beaten before you cook it. The best way would be to blend it a couple of times in a mixer. If you dont do this, it might split while cooking.


Recipe Source: Amma


  • Yam/Raw Banana (or a combination) :          1 cup
  • Yogurt,sour                        :          4 cup
  • Turmeric powder  :          1/4 tsp
  • Pepper powder       :          1 tsp
  • Green chillies           :          3-4
  • Salt

To grind:

  • Coconut                        :         1 cup
  • Cumin/Jeera              :          1 tsp
  • Yogurt                           :          1 tbsp

For seasoning:

  • Oil                                    :         1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds             :        1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds         :         1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves                :        a few
  • Red chillies                  :           2-3


  1. Pressure cook the vegetables with enough water to cover it. I pressure cooked these for 2 whistles. Add the turmeric powder, pepper and green chillies as well while cooking it. Once the pressure drops, take out of the cooker and keep aside.
  2. Blend the sour curd till frothy in a mixer. Keep aside. Donot skip this step, else the curd might split.
  3. Grind the coconut and cumin seeds. You can add a bit of the yogurt to make it into a smooth paste.
  4. When the vegetables are done, transfer them to a thick bottom pan and add the yogurt. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer, stirring frequently, until its quite thick. Add salt.
  5. You can stop at the above step if you are looking for the preserve. At the time of serving, take a ladle of the kalan and do the below.
  6. Add the ground coconut paste. Let it cook for another 3-4 min and take off the heat.
  7. In a small kadai, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. Add the curry leaves, fenugreek seeds and red chillies once the mustard crackles. When the color changes, add this on top of the prepared Kalan. Serve with rice.


Recipe Source: Kothiyavunnu

  • This curry is thick. The consistency is not gravy-ish like the koottu in Tamil Nadu.
  • The roasted coconut is a must and shouldnot be skipped. Its a crucial taste adding ingredient.
  • In Trivandrum side, the koottu curry is a totally different recipe. It has vada and garam masala as well.


  • Raw Banana                                  :          1 medium, peeled and diced
  • Yam                                                  :          1 cup, diced
  • Small Black Chana(chickpeas)  :           1/2 cup cooked
  • Jaggery                                           :           2 tbsp
  • Chilli Powder                                :           1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder                       :            1/4 tsp
  • Salt

To Grind:

  • Coconut           :         1 cup
  • Cumin               :         1 tsp

For Seasoning:

  • Mustard seeds                 :          1 tsp
  • Oil                                         :         1 tsp
  • Curry leaves                    :          5-6
  • Red chillies                      :          1-2
  • Coconut                            :          1/2 cup


  1. Wash and soak the chana overnight or for at least 4 hours. Cook till they are done and keep aside. I pressure cooked it for about 5-6 whistles.
  2. Wash, peel, clean and dice the yam and plantain. You can add pumpkin or ash gourd as well.
  3. Pressure cook the yam and plantain (with enough water to cover it and 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder) for two whistles. Once the pressure drops, open the cooker and transfer this to a kadai. Drain all but a little bit of water. Add chilli powder, jaggery, salt and let it cook together.
  4. Grind coconut and cumin to a smooth paste. You can add a bit of water if required. Add this to the vegetable mix. Add the chickpeas as well and let it cook for a couple of minutes. If required, you can add a bit of water to prevent burning. But this is not a gravy curry, so don’t add too much of water.
  5. Do a taste test and adjust seasonings. Keep aside.
  6. In a small pan, add the oil. Once its hot, pop in the mustard seeds. After they crackle, add the red chillies and curry leaves. When it changes color, add the coconut. Fry till its brown in color and a nice aroma of roasted coconut comes.
  7. Mix this into the prepared vegetables and cover and keep aside.


Previous Posts:

  1. A – Avial, Ada Pradhaman, Achinga Payar – Chena Mezhukkupiratti
  2. B – Beetroot Kichadi, Beet root thoran, Beans Thoran
  3. C  – Carrot Thoran, Cabbage Thoran
  4. D – Daal – Parippu Curry
  5. E – Erisseri – Chena & Mathan Vanpayaru
  6. F – Fruit Pachadi
  7. G – God’s Own Country – Kerala
  8. H – How to Serve a Sadya
  9. I – Inji Puli
  10. J – Jackfruit Payasam – Chakka Payasam
  11. K – Kalan & Koottu Curry

Logo courtesy : Preeti

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 32

Linking this to Valli’s Side Dish Mela.


21 thoughts on “Kalan & Koottu Curry – Sadya Recipes

  1. Header looks awesome Rajani, and well no words for both these dishes..I have been little delayed in catching up with the posts..the recipes sound so awesome..as Kalyani says the amount of coconut grating gets done is out of the world!


  2. Both the kalan and kootu look delicious. Lovely presentation and detailed post. I’m amazed that there are so many different variations and names for these dishes. In A.P. we refer to most of our curries as ‘kura’.


  3. Kalan is very interesting. Your Sadya meal posts are extremely interesting.
    When I read Kalan, I was surprise because in Maharashtra we too have a recipe by that name but it is totally different.
    I just wonder how these same words but different recipes or same recipe but different names came about.


  4. the props and paathrams are awesome :-)) u make everyday cooking look glamarous :-))

    hats off to all the coconuts you guys grate everyday… Onam Sadya must be so exciting !


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