Vazhakka kootu


There are times when we want to go elaborate and there are times when you want to go simple. So when you chance upon a recipe that’s simple to make, tastes delicious, includes protein and veggies in one recipe, you know have hit jackpot.

This recipe is also a proof of how taste buds change over a period of time. My mom and grandma used to make this frequently when we were kids. We were never big fans of this dish then. It was something to eat, but only after you have expressed your disappointment clearly. Now that we have grown up, I find we like kootu. In fact, the pull towards this particular recipe was because it looked just like my grandma’s version! Ironical, don’t you think!? It would have been good if the sense came in earlier, but better late than never.

This version of koottu, though it looks very similar to my grandma’s version, is different. Garlic and onions were sparingly used in my grandma’s cooking. It has fennel instead of jeera and that makes a difference in a good way.The aroma is amazing and I have fallen in love with this version. Its a nice blend of my childhood memories with a modern day twist.


BM #61, Week 1; Theme: Meal Ideas

Recipe source: My friend Purnima


For pressure cooking:

  • 1/2 cup chana dal
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • one medium onion, diced roughly
  • one tomato, cut into two
  • one green plantain (vazhakka), diced roughly
  • 2-3 garlic pods

For grinding:

  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 3 green chilies (or per taste)
  • one inch piece ginger
  • one teaspoon fennel seeds
  • salt as needed


  • one teaspoon oil
  • one teaspoon mustard seeds
  • one dry red chili
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • a good pinch hing


  1. The vegetables are going to get mashed when done, so you can dice them into rough big pieces.
  2. Pressure cook half cup washed chana dal with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder, one roughly diced onion, a tomato cut into two pieces, one roughly diced vazhakka and 2-3 pods of garlic. Add enough water to cover the dal and veggies. About 1.5 – 2 cups.
  3. Cook for 3-4 whistles or until the dal is done. Turn off the heat and let the pressure drop.
  4. Grind 1/2 cup coconut with 3 green chillies (or per taste), one inch long piece of ginger and one teaspoon of fennel seeds. Add enough water to get a smooth, but thick paste.
  5. In a big kadai, add one teaspoon of oil. Add one teaspoon mustard seeds, one dry red chili, a good pinch of hing and few curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add the cooked dal and veggie mix to it. Once it comes to a boil, add the ground coconut paste and salt as needed. Let it boil for 3-4 minutes.
  6. The consistency of the dal is determined by the water added to it. If you prefer it to be runny, you can add all the dal water and a little more. Else, drain some and add after checking the consistency.
  7. Serve with rice, papad and a spicy pickle.


This post goes to Blogging Marathon #61. Check out the BM page to see what the other participants have brought to the table!


13 thoughts on “Vazhakka kootu

  1. Rajani, I guess we all realize that sad fact as we grow older and wish we can rewind…however its good that we are now in a position to appreciate finer things finally..:)..I love your kootu and am going to make it..


  2. I used to hate kootu when I was a kid but love it nowadays. But now my daughter hates it. Your koot is looking so delicious..


  3. Sometimes it is strange how our taste buds change over a period of time, isn’t it? Kootu looks so comforting and a nice simple meal you have got there.


  4. You have a lot of nutritious simple recipes. Love this one, though like your grandma I too will skip the onion and garlic.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s