2 teaspoons urad dal (husked and split black gram)
1 to 2 byadagi chilies or kashmiri red chilies (broken and seeds removed)
½teaspoon black pepper(for less spiciness add ¼ teaspoon black pepper)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
¼cup fresh grated coconut
¼ to ⅓cup water for grinding
for cooking dal
⅓cup moong dal
¼teaspoon turmeric powder
1 cupwater added in moong dal
1.5 cups water added in pressure cooker
for cooking ash gourd
1.5 cups chopped ash gourd
salt as required
½ to ¾ cup water to be added later
for tempering poosanikai kootu
2 tablespoons coconut oil
½teaspoon mustard seeds
½teaspoon urad dal
10 to 12 curry leaves
1 generous pinch asafoetida(hing)
roasting and making ground paste
Heat a small pan and add 2 teaspoons urad dal.
Stirring often sauté urad dal till the lentils become light golden and aromatic. Do not burn them.
Add 1 to 2 byadagi chilies or kashmiri red chilies (halved and seeds removed). For less spiciness you can add 1 dry red chili.
Stirring often for some seconds roast till the red chilies change color. Switch off flame. Keep the roasted urad dal and red chilies in a separate plate and let them cool.
In a small grinder jar, add the roasted urad dal and red chilies.
Also add ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and ¼ cup grated coconut. For less spicy taste you can add ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
Add ¼ to ⅓ cup water and grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
Rinse ⅓ cup moong dal a couple of times in water. Drain well and add the lentils in a bowl or small pan which we will place inside a 3 litre pressure cooker. Then add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 cup water to the lentils.
Cover the pan with a lid. Also add 1.5 cups water in the pressure cooker. If cooking moong dal in a pot, then add 2 cups water.
Pressure cook on medium flame for 6 to 7 whistles or 9 to 10 minutes. The rice I have used is hand pounded rice (pre-soaked for 30 minutes) which takes a long time to cook. If using white rice, then cook the rice and dal separately.
When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid and with the help of tongs remove the bowl. Mash the dal and keep aside.
making poricha kootu
In a separate pan or pot, take 1.5 cups chopped ash gourd and ½ cup water.
Cover the pan and on a medium-low flame cook the ash gourd.
In between do check. If the water has evaporated, then you can add some more water and continue to cover and cook.
Simmer ash gourd for 14 to 15 minutes or till they are tender and cooked.
Lower the flame or you can switch off the flame. Add the mashed dal and the ground paste.
Also add salt as per taste.
Add ½ to ¾ cup water or as required. The amount of water can be added as per consistency you want. ½ cup water gives a thick consistency. Mix very well.
Simmer on a low flame till the kootu comes to a gentle boil. Do stir while cooking, so that the moong lentils do not stick to the base of the pan. Then switch off the flame and cover the pan.
tempering for poosanikai kootu
Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil.
Keep the flame to a low. Then add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and ½ teaspoon urad dal.
Fry till the mustard seeds crackle and the urad dal turns golden. Instead of coconut oil, you can also use sesame oil (gingelly oil) or peanut oil or sunflower oil.
Then add 10 to 12 curry leaves and one generous pinch of asafoetida (hing). Stir and then switch off the flame.
Pour the tempered ingredients in the vellai poosanikai kootu.
Cover the pan for 5 minutes so that the tempering flavours infuse in the poosanikai kootu.
Serve white pumpkin kootu with steamed rice. You can also add a few chopped coriander leaves as a garnish while serving.