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  • Preeti Shridhar

Ash Gourd Kootu

Kootu is a lentil and vegetable gravy made in South Indian homes. Lentils used are generally Tur Dal or Moong Dal, although my sister in law makes it with Lobia also and I love it.

Here I have made it with Tur Dal as I had run out of Lobia.

You can use a mix of vegetables or a single one like I have.

During summers I like to use raw mango instead of tamarind.

Increase the number of chilies in paste if you want it spicier. This recipe will give you a mildly spicy gravy.


Tur Dal 1 cup

Ash Gourd 1/2 kg

Tamarind paste 2 tbsp

Salt to taste

Turmeric pd 1/2 tsp


Coriander seeds 1 tbsp

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Whole red chili 2

Peppercorn 1/2 tsp

Chana Dal 1 tbsp

Urad Dal 1 tbsp

Coconut 1/2 cup grated


Sesame oil/ ghee 1 tbsp

Asaefotida a pinch

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Methi seeds 1 tsp

Red Chili 2

Curry leaves 1 sprig


  1. Wash and soak Dal for 10 minutes.

  2. Wash peel and cut Ash Gourd into 1 inch cubes.

  3. Boil them with some salt and turmeric pd.

  4. Once they are almost done add tamarind paste and let them boil till done.

  5. Roast all the ingredients mentioned under paste except coconut with a few drops of oil.

  6. Once the spices cool down, make a fine paste along with coconut, using water as needed.

  7. Cook Dal in pressure cooker for 2 whistles.

  8. Once the pressure drops, mix the Dal to mash it slightly.

  9. Now add in Ash Gourd with the water it was boiled in.

  10. Bring it to a boil.

  11. Add the paste and let it simmer for a few minutes.

  12. Check the consistency and add more water if needed.

  13. It should be thicker than Sambaar.

For tempering

  1. Heat oil or ghee in a pan.

  2. Add asaefotida and mustard seeds.

  3. Once the seeds crackle, add methi seeds, whole red chilli, Curry leaves.

  4. Pour it over the cooked Kootu.

  5. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  6. Serve it hot with rice and pappadam.


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