August 29, 2020

Kootu Curry - Sadhya special (Vegan)

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 Kootu Curry also known as kootkari , kootu kari is an important recipe on the Sadhya menu for Onam or Vishu . For those who don't know what Sadhya is, it is the Malayalam word for a feast or an elaborate special menu. There are more than 10 items which includes  minimum 2 varieties of paysam along with various other items like  

[ Click on the individual items below to get their recipe . Kerala style rasam & sambar will be updated shortly on the blog ]

These are all the quintessential items of the sadhya and no sadhya is complete without these .

Coming to kootu curry now, "kootu"  in tamil or malayalam means a mixture or a mix and curry is word used to denote a gravy . So kootu curry means a mix gravy if we have to put it in lay man's terms . 

Traditionally native vegetables like yam(chenai), raw banana(kaaya), ash gourd(elavan) , red pumpkin (mathhan) are used in the preparation of kootu curry along with boiled black channa (chickpeas) or bengal gram dhall (channa dhall/kadala paruppu) . Like any other kerala recipe, this too requires a lot of fresh coconut and coconut oil . So please don't compromise on the quantity of coconut and coconut oil if you want to savor the original flavor of Kerala kootu curry .

In today's recipe, I have used a combination of red pumpkin (mathhan) and raw banana along with channa dhall . The other combinations that can be tried are 

Raw banana + yam 

Raw banana + ash gourd

Ash gourd + red pumpkin + raw banana /yam 

Yam + red pumpkin

**channa dhall or black chickpeas can be added to the above combinations.

Preparation Time - 15 mins 
Soaking Time - 8 hrs ( if using black chickpeas)
Cooking Time - 20 to 30 mins
Serves - 3 to 4 
Complexity - simple


2 medium sized raw banana
200 gms red pumpkin 
1/3 cup channa dhall/bengal gram 
1/2 a coconut freshly grated 
3 to 4 red chillies
1 tsp jeera
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Fresh curry leaves 
1 tsp mustard seeds 
1 tsp jaggery 
Salt as needed 
1/2 tsp turmeric 


  • Peel the skin of the pumpkin and raw banana and chop them into medium sized cubes .
  • Soak the channa dhall in water for about 10 to 15 mins .
  • Take 2 tbsp of coconut gratings and keep aside and using the rest ,grind coconut, jeera and red chillies with enough water to a semi fine paste .
  • In a pressure cooker add the chopped vegetables along with the soaked channa dhall , turmeric , pinch of salt and sprinkle some water and pressure cook for 1 whistle. 
  • If using black chickpeas then pressure cook it separately and add it to the curry later on with the coconut paste.
  • Once the pressure releases , open it and lightly mash the vegetables.  In a wide ,thick bottomed vessel, add the cooked vegetables, the ground coconut paste , 1/4 cup water and some salt and bring it to a nice boil until the raw flavor of the coconut and red chillies is lost. Add the jaggery at this stage.
  • Keep stirring and cook on low flame,else there is every chance of the coconut sticking to the bottom and burning.  This curry has to be thick, so pls donot add too much water. It will take about 2 to 3 mins and your kootu curry will be ready. 
  • In a dry pan roast the 2 tablespoon of coconut until it turns crisp and golden brown and keep aside .
  • Heat coconut oil in a kadai , splutter mustard seeds and fry the curry leaves and pour this tempering over the kootu curry along with the fried coconut.  Kootu curry is now ready to be served with steaming hot rice and some pappadums.


  1. Very delicious Kootu Curry. I love the masala that goes into it. Makes the curry so flavourful. Best with rice and fried papads

  2. That is one delicious looking Kootu Curry and healthy too. I love any coconut based curry. This curry with the different vegetable combination is a versatile recipe.

  3. I love Kerala cuisine, it is tasty. This kootu curry looks delicious, ideal to serve with hot steamed rice.

  4. What a delicious looking curry and would go perfect with roti or rice. Thanks for the detailed recipe and explanation as its a new recipe for me.

  5. I love anything with fresh coconut and your kootu curry looks absolutely delicious and flavorful. I would love to try it with black chickpeas.

  6. Wow I have not tried many kootu this delicious kootu curry for sadhya sounds totally awesome. Love the combos and sounds easy to make. Will try one of these days for regular meal.


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