'Kootu' in malayalam means 'mixed' and as the name suggests, its a mixture of bengal gram (kadala/channa), Elephant Foot Yam (Chena) and Plaintain (nendran/etha kaaya) prepared with roasted Coconut paste.
This dish also finds a prominent place in all malayalee sadyas (feasts).
Bengal gram -50 gms
Raw banana - 1 no.
Elephant Foot Yam- 200 gms
Turmeric powder-1/2 spoon
Coconut - 1/2, Grated
Chilly powder-1/2 spoon
Curry leaves-6-8 leaves
Red chillies - 3-4 nos.
Salt to taste
Bengal gram (Chana in Hindi, karuppu kadala in Tamil) is one of the most important and widely used pulses in India. It has numerous health benefits. It is very high source of protein and iron. Sprouted Bengal Gram is given to children owing to its high levels of protein and iron.
Apart from iron, it’s also a very good source of folic acid and fiber.
Elephant foot yam is extremely beneficial for our stomach and in ayurveda, it is prescribed as medicine to treat piles, dysentery, asthma, swelling of lungs, vomiting and abdominal pain. It is used as a blood purifier. Yam helps to reduce cholesterol levels in blood. So it can be used as slimming food because it lowers cholesterol levels and promotes weight loss and also has a high concentration of key minerals.Yam also cures irregular bowel movements, constipation etc.
Nendran Bananas are much bigger in size than the regular bananas. The flesh of these bananas is firmer, silkier and sweeter. They have a pale yellow flesh.
It is a popular variety in Kerala where it is relished as a fruit, used as a staple vegetable for many dishes including the Kootu curry, Avail etc. as well as used to make the famous Nendran/Ethakkya Chips.
It is a wonderful nutritious diet for easy digestion, prevents diarrhea & worm trouble and is especially given to infants due to their high protein content. It also has high fibre content.
Soak the Bengal gram in water over night. The size of the gram would increase to around 1.5 times.
Overnight soaked Bengal gram is shown in the picture
Cook the Bengal gram in a pressure cooker. For every one glass of Bengal gram put minimum of 2 glasses of water. Add salt as required.
|Yam and plantain -chopped|
Chop the elephant foot yam and plantain into small cubes of equal size - approx 1 to 1.5 cm each side. Add Plantain and elephant foot yam together in a pan. Put turmeric powder, chilly powder, and salt to taste. Cover it with a lid. Add 1.5 glasses of water.
Kootu curry is almost dry and hence keep a check on the water you add.
After these are cooked, mix them well and crush the yam pieces slightly to bring in consistency and to make it thick. Pl. don't crush too much, else it would become yam paste!!
Add the cooked Bengal gram into it and mix thoroughly. Drain the water before adding the cooked Bengal gram into the cooked vegetables.
At last add the roasted coconut into this and mix thoroughly.
Take a small frying pan and pour one table spoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, put one teaspoon mustard into it and wait for mustard to splutter. Put 2-3 broken dry red chillies and 10 curry leaves into the pan. Mix well so that these get fried.
Pour this mix into the cooked vegetables and mix well. Kootu curry is ready!
Serves 6-7 people since this is a side dish and not a main dish.
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