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Podalangai Kootu / Pudalangai Kootu / Snake gourd with lentils

Podalangai / Pudalangai kootu or Snake Gourd with lentils is a simple Tamil Brahmin preparation. An everyday simple dish that is eaten with rice and ghee. One of the best ways to eat this gourd!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine south indian
Servings 3 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups snake gourd sliced
  • pinch turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1.5 cups tur dal cooked , beaten
  • to taste Salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut fresh grated

To lightly roast:

  • 6 - 8 peppercorn
  • 1 tsp raw rice
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 chillies red

For tempering:

  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp dal udad
  • 1 sprig curry leaves

Instructions
 

  • Preparation: Cut open the snake gourds along the length and run your fingers along the pith to clear off the insides. Place the gourds bunched together and slice them into pieces of 1 cm thickness or so.
  • Grind the roasted spices along with coconut and 3 tbsp water to a fine paste.
  • In a deep pan, place the gourd slices, water with pinch of turmeric. Bring the water to a boil and let it simmer until the gourd is tender (for about 5-8 minutes). Keep a watch so that gourd slices are not mashed.
  • Once the vegetable is cooked, add the finely ground coconut-spice paste, 3/4 tsp of salt and let the gravy simmer for 2 minutes. Add a little water if the gravy gets too thick while simmering.
  • In a small pan, heat a tsp of oil, and put in the mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add the udad dal, saute till golden and lastly throw in the curry leaves. Transfer the tempered oil to the gourd in coconut gravy.

Notes

Notes:
Podalangai kootu
Honestly speaking, I have never found kootu to be a good accompaniment for chapatis, but mix it into steaming hot rice, with a lime pickle on the side, a fresh yogurt raita and I can guarantee that it'll be your gateway to heaven.
You can make a variety of kootu using any other vegetable like bottle gourd (dudhi), ridge gourd, pumpkins, a mixture of vegetables (Poricha kootu) and even spinach.
Timesaver tip: To make kootu in a jiffy, I grind a chutney grinder full of the coconut masala, pour it into an ice tray, and remove the cubes into a ziploc bag which is stored in the freezer. Just throw 2-3 cubes of the masala into the veggie-lentil mix and all you have to do is the tempering.