Pumpkin kootu without coconut

1pumpkin kootu

Yesterday, I posted a kootu recipe with spinach and lentils and coconut in it. Today’s recipe is also a kootu, but with pumpkin, moong dal and no coconut. This is a very simple dish to make and tastes excellent. My son likes this dsh since its not very spicy and has a very mild sweetness from the pumpkins. Sometimes the pumpkin gets replaced by a combination of chayote/chow chow and carrots.

This is my friend’s recipe and  one I had tried many times now. I have been using  powdered hing for a long time now, but I am slowing making the switch to whole asafoetida. Hing aids in digestion and is used in almost all the places where you use lentils and beans. There is a nice and noticeable difference in aroma and flavor when using the whole hing.

The problem with whole hing is that it comes as a block and becomes rock hard in a day or two after you open the packet. My MIL told me that it is soft when its right out of the box. So that’s the time to cut it into very small pieces or make small balls using your hands. You have to store the pieces in air tight jars with a tablespoon or two of whole wheat sprinkled in. The wheat prevents the pieces from sticking together and becoming a solid mass again. At the time of cooking, you take a small piece and use it as usual. If a couple of pieces stick together, you can soak it in water overnight and by next morning, it would have melted. The flavor of whole hing is so much better than the powdered version.

Read on for the pictorial and the recipe.

4pumpkin kootu

Serves : 3

Recipe Source: My friend Mangalambigai


  • 1/2 cup moong dal
  • 1 teaspoon jeera seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • a good pinch of hing
  • salt to taste
  • 1 medium tomato
  • about 1 cup of chopped pumpkin

For the tadka

  • 1 teaspoon ghee or oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 red chillies, optional
  • 5-6 curry leaves


In a steel bowl, add the washed dal, chopped tomato and pumpkin pieces, jeera seeds, a good pinch of hing and salt as needed.

Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and enough water so that it covers the dal completely by about an inch on top. Pressure cook for about 3 whistles.

Once the pressure releases naturally, open the cooker and mash it a little using a ladle. Heat oil or ghee in a separate pan, add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add the red chillies and curry leaves. Add this tadka to the kootu and serve hot with rice, papad and pickle. If the kootu is dry, you can add more water and bring it to a boil.

3pumpkin kootu



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10 thoughts on “Pumpkin kootu without coconut

  1. Recently I read that the powdered form of hing we get contains very little amount of hing but mostly maida and additives. So even I have switched to the blocks. Thanks for all the tips as this will be really useful for me. But I get rock hard crystals here. Guess I need to read more about it. Between the coconut less kootu sounds so delicious..


  2. We would always buy the rock solid hing in India as it tastes way more strong and flavourful than the powdered one.
    The kootu looks super inviting and I love the second pic with rice.


  3. I love such comforting dals and kootus, I especially love our south indian kootus types as they double up for both rice and roti..this one looks awesome Rajani, I have mostly used chow chow, bottle gourd and types, never pumpkin, must try…I love hing and have only used the powdered one..any specific reason for making the shift to the rocks?..


  4. All my rock hing Apeksha threw out when she cleaned my kitchen. :( She refuses to accept that she did it that is more irritating. Waiting for the rains to stop then will start buying my rock hing and after crushing it I do add it in water.

    I made your yesterday’s kootu. Tomorrow looks like this kootus turn will look out for pumpkin today.


  5. I am forever trying the family to eat kooṭu without coconut. Yours looks so fabulous…will try it soon.
    I am also discovering the benefits and flavour of asofoetida…so good!


  6. Thanks a lot for sharing the idea of storing the rock hing. I am using the katti perungayam too but as your said it is becoming super sticky. Will try adding the wheat flour. This is awesome between if you want that arichuvitta taste, you can replace coconut with pottukadalai and kasa kasa. Mom used to do this.


  7. Real comfort food , looks heavenly !
    I use powdered hing , though I know that the rock is always better , it is a pain to crush it , and we guys are always in a rush to finish cooking , but soaking is a good tip .


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