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:

33 comments for Beerakaya~Pesara Pappu Kootu »

  1. OOh! Me first to comment.. Maa amma beerakaya kootu vere gaa chesthundi Indira gaaru. senaga pappu, urad dal, miriyalu, konchem biyyam,jilakara, yendu mirchi anni etc. roast n grind chesi, kandi pappu, beerakaya boil chesi mix chesthundi, chintapandu vesi… Naaku regular pappu bore kottinappudu Ammanu cheyyamane danni… yippudayithe nene vollu vanchi chesukovalanukondi..:) By the way congrats on your food blog rating. mee version try chesthaa next time. Mee bowls chala cute gaa vunnayi..

    Comment by Prathima — August 29, 2007 @ 11:10 pm

  2. Hi Indira

    Kootu was a staple in my house when we were growing up. I used to be such a picky eater and used to hate it when my mom used to make it for lunch/dinner. But now so far away from home, having to cook my own food, a bowl of kootu is heaven. Absolutely great presentation. My kootu never comes that great…I am going to try the above recipe and needless to say…it is going to be lip smacking.

    Comment by Lakshmi — August 29, 2007 @ 11:12 pm

  3. Yummy! It would be the best for early pregancy days Indira…no doubt! At home we make kootu to accompany any tamarind based kuzhambu. This will pair up nicely with a shallot tamarind kuzhambu. Those red porcelain cups and the kootu in it looks like “made-for-each-other”. I love the way you choose the vessel for the food! simply superb!

    Comment by Nirmala — August 29, 2007 @ 11:45 pm

  4. Count me in dear girl – im an AP flour atheist too! You’ll rarely ever find it in my kitchen- and I buy sugar so that I may serve a normal sweet tea/coffee to my guests 🙂 1/2 kilo goes a long way for us!
    And kootu is always a comfort food…loved the cute dialogues YUM 🙂

    Comment by nandita — August 30, 2007 @ 5:16 am

  5. beerakaya is my favorite curry but I never ate it in this form….

    Hey I have to thank you for something. I had some cousins over for dinner on tuesday as I performed the mangala gouri puja. I took your dum aloo and sorakaya + yogurt recipes and made those two curries…. Both of them turned out very well thanks to your detailed instructions… the dum aloo was good… though i think I put little too much cinnamon.

    Thanks Indira

    Comment by spandana — August 30, 2007 @ 5:58 am

  6. That is so good-looking, Indira! Great recipe.
    I looooove those little red cups/mugs that you have served it in.
    That is a beautiful pic 🙂

    Comment by TBC — August 30, 2007 @ 7:58 am

  7. Yum, from me too!

    Comment by Anita — August 30, 2007 @ 7:58 am

  8. looks so good. i can almost taste it

    Comment by Rajitha — August 30, 2007 @ 8:05 am

  9. Hi Indira
    I never ate kootu b4, my mom never made it but it sounds interesting, wil give it a try.

    Comment by ranjitha — August 30, 2007 @ 8:20 am

  10. Deep breaths, girl. Deep breaths.

    We all love what we grew up eating, don’t we? For us, it is the vegetables. For some, it is the AP Flour+Sugar+Butter. Come Diwali, and we vegetable lovers go nuts about Maida+Sugar/Jaggery+Ghee, too. Milk and its various by-products, too. What can one do? It deposits itself into one’s blood, you see.

    Darn, I need to go make some payasam now.

    Comment by Vee — August 30, 2007 @ 8:37 am

  11. Nice recipe Indira. My husband hates the ridgegourd. But I think I just need to find the right recipe for it. This sounds like a surefire hit…I should try it out!


    Comment by Kanchana — August 30, 2007 @ 8:55 am

  12. Kootu is something new to me. Will surely try the recipe soon. Somehow all-purpose flour never was convincing enough for me to not to think of substituing wheat flour. Recently I was almost on verge of signing up for baking classes but gave up seeing myself turning into Paula of foodnetwork…just a little more butter ha ha ha:) Have a nice day Indira! Cheers n Regards/Nina

    Comment by Nina — August 30, 2007 @ 9:12 am

  13. Amazing pictures you take Indira…Unbelievable.!! love those red cutie bowls… 🙂

    Comment by babli — August 30, 2007 @ 10:03 am

  14. I am a great Kootu fan too. I pressure-cook the vegetables and the dhal together – easier to make a on a weekday night, and of course, I am plain lazy! I don’t mix potatoes & ridge gourd though, will try that out. The kootu holder cups are awesome. May I know where you got that from?

    Comment by Chikki — August 30, 2007 @ 10:53 am

  15. Hi,

    I could never imagine ridge gourd could be made into such a delicious dish. Loved it n it goes without saying that ur pics are evry very good.

    Comment by Pooja — August 30, 2007 @ 10:54 am

  16. Indira, I make it similar way but no slow cooking ,put everything in pressure cooker and then thadka, adding potatoes is new to me
    Thanks for recipe

    Comment by Sreelu — August 30, 2007 @ 10:58 am

  17. Hi Indira, Your kootu looks yummy!!!! I just had a doubt, won’t the lime juice turn bitter because of heating?!!!

    Comment by Sudha — August 30, 2007 @ 11:25 am

  18. I was wondering the same thing as Sudha.. Wouldn’t it turn bitter? If not, one of the guidelines in my kitchen just turned out to be a myth.

    The kootu is yum!!!! Feed it to all those AP fans and they’ll turn around and convert themselves to kootu yum!

    Comment by Kay — August 30, 2007 @ 12:30 pm

  19. I have never tried that combination. Both ingredients are favs for me. So together………wow!
    Traditionally we cook bottle gourd (dudhi) with chana dal. Also one of my fav favs

    Comment by saju — August 30, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

  20. I am not a fan or ridge gourd, but u make it look so very good!!! I am willing to try it because of ur pix!!

    Comment by Manasi — August 30, 2007 @ 4:02 pm

  21. Prathima gaaru: Mee amma gaari kootu chaala baangunnadi andi. Eesaari tappakunda alaga chesi chustaanu. Thanks.

    Lakshmi: Me too. I used to eat it only with heaps of vadiyams and papads on the side.:)

    Nirmala: I’m going to take your recommendation and try it with tamarind shallot kuzhambu for my next try. Thanks.

    Nandita: Great to find fellow member of AP flour atheist sangham. 🙂
    Yum and Om….!:)

    Glad to hear that you tried and liked those recipes Spandana.

    Thanks TBC.

    Om to you Anita.:)

    Ranjitha: It’s all yours.:)

    Vee: This post is my response to people who write me “why don’t you blog some cakes, cookies and such” and nothing to do with we versus them culinary clash.
    All that Diwali sweets and payasam talk, you are making me go into Yum… trance. 🙂

    Kanchana: I also recommend ridge gourd and poppy seed combination, plus ridge gourd bajji. Ridge gourd tastes terrific in these recipes. Kootu is more of an acquired taste.

    If you try, make it with chapatis or parathas, Nina. With rice, kootu definitely demands papads.
    Paula chetiki emuka ledu, butter vishayaaniki vaste.:)

    Thanks Babli.
    Do you know a Bunti?:)

    Chikki: from a flea market.

    Pooja and Sreelu: thanks.

    Hi Sudha and Kay: Usually our custom is add the lime juice in the end.
    But what I came to know from cooking trails is that if the juice face direct heat (like in chitrannam:lemon rice preparation) it will turn bitter. But here, in these types of recipes, the juice will get diluted with moong dal water etc, so stays sour without turning to bitter. Adding in this way is a common practice in Euro-centric cuisine also.

    Saju and Manasi: If you try this combination, let me know how you like it. Thanks.

    Comment by Indira — August 30, 2007 @ 6:12 pm

  22. Yet another reason I love your blog! Don’t get me wrong – I love my starche (I’m really more of a rice girl myself). I like bread quite a bit (particularly the yummy local olive bread made by Acme). But vegetables? They make me go weak in my knees. I can pass up any baked good with nary a second thought. But plop me in the middle of a farmer’s market I I just can’t resist popping a bunch of fresh okra in my basket. Or a big bunch of Thai basil. Or some chard. Or shiny purple eggplants. Or a tomato…or…I really have to rein myself in so I don’t buy more than I can use in a week!

    As it happens, ridged gourd is one of my favorites. I like it stirfried with shrimp the best, but this looks fabulous. I think I will make it this weekend. Oh, it does look lovely.

    Comment by Diane — August 30, 2007 @ 6:35 pm

  23. Hi Indira, Thanks for the clarification regarding lime juice. I appreciate it.

    Comment by Sudha — August 30, 2007 @ 6:51 pm

  24. Forgot to mention that I have to start hitting the flea markets more often!!!:-)

    Comment by Sudha — August 30, 2007 @ 6:52 pm

  25. Ah! that’s new to me. Thanks Indira, for sharing about adding the juice to another liquid and then adding to the dish. How much we learn every day! And how much more, there is to learn!

    Comment by Kay — September 3, 2007 @ 10:27 am

  26. Had some beerakaya left in the fridge, wondering what to make for dinner, wanted a new dal recipe, so tried this last night. Amazing! I’ve been recommending your website to friends for 6 months (since I stumbled on it). I make at least 1-3 of your recipes a week and I have not had one miss. After 18 years together this Mallu chick can finally make easy, simple yet wonderfully flavourful Andhra food for her husband. Thank you Indira for making my family prefer veg over non-veg. Our taste buds and hearts thank you!

    Comment by meenu — September 4, 2007 @ 4:37 am

  27. I try most of the recipes you blog here and some of them are regular in my kitchen (baingan channa, peas sprouts curries, spinach stew… to name some). Tried this one too and liked it so much, added to my regular cooking list 🙂


    Comment by Veena — September 4, 2007 @ 6:58 am

  28. I tried this recipe yesterday and it was absolutely yummy! Thanks 🙂

    Comment by aditee — September 5, 2007 @ 10:58 am

  29. Hello Indira,

    I just love your description of linking the all purpose flour to spirtuality.You are awesome creative.

    Comment by veena — September 9, 2007 @ 9:54 am

  30. Hi Indira,
    I made this dish yesterday..I was just awesome!!
    You are so right..It’s the hing(tadka) that adds a heavenly flavour to this dish

    Comment by hema — September 13, 2007 @ 3:14 pm

  31. Hi Indira,

    Its my first time around here.Nice blog & well presented layout.Tried this recipe & it tasted heavenly.Both me & my family enjoyed it.Thanks a bunch for posting such recipes.Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Munni — November 14, 2007 @ 9:33 am

  32. […] This is the only way I enjoyed eating Moong ki daal until I came across Indira’s beerakayapesara-pappu-kootu. This is a very different taste of moong daal but delicious. So, go ahead and enjoy moong ki daal. […]

    Pingback by Moong Ki Daal « चर्चे चौके के Charche Chauke Ke — January 9, 2008 @ 2:02 pm

  33. Hi, Thanks a lot for this wonderful recipe. Was almost on the verge of giving up on this vegetable, when I googled for it and saw this amazing page of recipes for one vegetable. I tried Beerakaya~Pesara Pappu Kootu and it turned out so yummy. Will check ur other recipes and try out. Thanks again.

    Comment by Sonal — June 16, 2010 @ 11:53 pm

Your Comment


(required but not published)

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

It sounds like SK2 has recently been updated on this blog. But not fully configured. You MUST visit Spam Karma's admin page at least once before letting it filter your comments (chaos may ensue otherwise).