kootu curry recipe
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4.67 from 3 votes

kootu curry

kootu curry also known as koottukari or kootu kari is a curry based dish with a few veggies and legumes. kootu curry is one of the important dishes of onam sadhya.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: main course
Cuisine: kerala, south indian
Servings: 4
Author: Dassana Amit


for cooking black chickpeas

  • cup black chana (black chickpeas)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups water

for cooking veggies

  • 1 to 1.25 cups plantain (raw banana)
  • 1 cup elephant foot yam (suran)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder (kali mirch powder)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt or add as required
  • 1 teaspoon jaggery - optional
  • ¼ cup water added later - optional

for coconut paste

  • ½ cup grated fresh coconut
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • ½ cup water for grinding coconut paste

for tempering kootu curry

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon urad dal (husked and split black gram)
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves
  • 1 dry red chili
  • cup grated fresh coconut


soaking and cooking black chickpeas

  • rinse ⅓ cup black chana (black chickpeas) in water a couple of times and then soak in enough water for 8 hours or overnight.
  • before cooking, drain all the water. add the chana in a pressure cooker along with ¼ teaspoon salt.
  • pour 1.5 cups water. cover and pressure cook for 10 minutes or 12 to 14 whistles on medium flame. 
  • depending on the quality of chana it may take less or more time to cook. so do use your past experience in cooking chana if you are using the same brand. at times some quality of chickpeas, takes only 3 to 4 whistles to cook and at times more.
  • when the pressure settles down open the lid and check if the chickpeas are cooked. if not, then add about ½ cup water and cook for some more time.

cooking veggies for kootu curry

  • when the chickpeas are cooking, you can peel, rinse and chop plantain (raw banana) and elephant foot yam (suran). you will need 1 to 1.25 cups chopped plantain and 1 cup chopped elephant foot yam. add them in a pan.
  • add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder. also add ½ teaspoon salt or add as required.
  • next add 1.5 cups water.
  • cover the pan with a lid and cook the veggies on a low to medium flame.
  • in between while cooking, do check and stir the veggies. if the water dries up, you can add some more water.

for coconut paste

  • when the veggies are cooking, you can prepare the coconut paste. take ½ cup fresh grated coconut , 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 2 dry red chilies (broken and seeds removed) in a grinder jar.
  • add ½ cup water and grind to a semi fine paste. keep aside.

making kootu curry

  • once the yam and plantain are cooked, its time to add the cooked chickpeas. if there is any water in the pan, then evaporate it by cooking without lid. there should be no water or very little water in the pan (about 95% of water should get evaporated).
  • add the cooked chickpeas.
  • then add the coconut paste.
  • add about ¼ cup water only if required and if the curry is too thick. mix well.
  • add 1 teaspoon jaggery. adding jaggery is optional and can be skipped.
  • bring the kootu curry to a boil. you need to cook till the raw taste of coconut and red chilies go away. then switch off the flame. cover and keep aside. do stir at intervals.

tempering for kootu curry

  • in a tadka pan or a small frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil. add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and ½ teaspoon urad dal.
  • let the mustard seeds crackle and the urad dal turn golden. stir often for uniform cooking.
  • then add 10 to 12 curry leaves and 1 dry red chili.
  • fry till the red chilies change color and the curry leaves become crisp.
  • next add ⅓ cup fresh grated coconut.
  • mix the coconut very well with the remaining tempering ingredients and continue to saute stirring often.
  • saute till the coconut turns golden.
  • add this mixture to the kootu curry.
  • mix very well. cover and keep aside for some minutes for the flavors to mingle.
  • serve kootu curry with steamed rice.