Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Beerakaya~Pesara Pappu Kootu

Ridge gourd and Moong Dal :

I see the world around me. There is a deep tantric style worship of all-purpose flour and its endless avatars. All-purpose flour, butter, eggs and sugar: the central content is the same but by just changing the vessel and the decorations, several different avatars are possible. Like the prayers to the Gods, the all-purpose flour mantram resonates like this: cakes… yum, cookies… yum, cupcakes… yum, muffins… yum, bread… yum, biscotti… yum, pizzas, pies, scones… yum … yum … yum … the mantram goes on. The sugar bliss and the atma content follow… yum!

I am amazed by this boundless fascination all-purpose flour attracts. The Maya intensity of all-purpose flour is so great that each of its avatars is perceived as its own creation. I too use the flour mantram, but the avatars are limited to chapati… yum, puri… yum, paratha… yum. I’m just talking out loud.

Anyway, cakes and cookies could be divinely delicious, but vegetables are what inspire me to cook and write. Vegetables keep me happy in a world which is insanely flour-sugar coated. So here it is, another sane vegetable recipe from an all-purpose flour atheist. A hearty, dense, satisfying dal recipe with ridge gourd and moong dal, called Kootu.

Attempt this kootu recipe only when you have asafetida in your kitchen. Because the tiny amount of asafetida is what makes the recipe come alive. Onions and garlic are a big no but potatoes are a must. Ridge gourd, drumsticks and brinjal separately or together in combination are added to cooked, watery moong dal. And the whole thing gets simmered until a thick, honey like consistency is achieved. This is a good dal recipe for people who have low tolerance levels for onions and garlic, and also during early pregnancy times. Mild and soothing, this moong dal Kootu is a favorite for moong fans like me.

Ridge gourd, Red Potato, Lime and Yellow Moong Dal ~ Ingredients for Pesara pappu Kootu


Step 1: 1 cup yellow moong dal – Roast the yellow moong dal to pale red color in an iron skillet. Take the roasted dal in a pressure-cooker, add about 4 cups of water and pressure-cook to soft. Then, lightly mash the dal to smooth consistency.

Meanwhile blend six green chillies, two tablespoons of grated fresh coconut and a pinch of salt to smooth paste.

Step 2: In a saucepan – add a teaspoon of oil. Add and saute two cups of cubed potatoes first. Once the potatoes are half cooked, add 2 cups of finely chopped ridge gourd pieces and saute to tender. (3 potatoes and 1 ridge gourd.)

To the vegetables, add the mashed moong dal, green chilli-coconut paste, ½ tsp each -turmeric and salt, plus a quarter cup of lime/lemon juice, along with two cups of water. Mix, have a taste and adjust the spice, salt to your liking. Simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 3: In the end, do the popu or tadka. Add and toast few curry leaves, dried red chilli pieces, cumin and mustard seeds and quarter teaspoon of asafetida in an iron skillet in a small amount of oil or ghee. Add the toasted contents to simmering dal. Mix and serve hot with chapatis. A state of bliss will surely follow.

Beerakaya Pesara Pappu Kootu ~ for a Light Meal

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Beera kaaya(Ridge Gourd),Moong Dal (Washed) (Wednesday August 29, 2007 at 10:19 pm- permalink)
Comments (33)

The New Home of Mahanandi: