Poricha Kootu ~ Delicious & Healthy Recipe with Padmini Mani

by on July 15, 2011

PORICHA KOOTU is a healthy & tasty vegetable preparation; Padmini Mani learnt this Tamilian recipe from her mother-in-law & enjoys cooking & serving it.


Tamilaian Recipe - SIDE DISH


  • Snake gourd – 1½ cups, diced medium
  • Small purple brinjals – 8, diced medium or quartered
  • Red gram (tur daal) – 1 cup
  • Gram dal (chana daal) – 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida powder – a generous pinch
  • Salt to taste

The paste:

  • Fresh coconut – ½ cup, grated
  • Whole black peppercorns – ½ tsp
  • Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Dry red chillies – 3-4, stems removed & nicked at tail

The 1st Tempering:

  • Gingelly oil – 1½ tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
  • Broken black gram (urad dal) – 1 tsp
  • Freshly ground black pepper powder – ¼ tsp
  • Turmeric powder – a pinch
  • Asafoetida powder (or block dissolved in water) – ½ tsp

The 2nd Tempering:

  • Coconut oil – 3 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1½ tsp
  • Broken black gram (urad dal) – 2 tsp
  • Fresh coconut – 2 tbsp, grated
  • Curry leaves – a few, with or without stems


1. Pressure-cook the red gram, trying to keep the grams whole, yet soft & well cooked. Set aside without churning.
2. Grind together all the ingredients of the paste to a thick, smooth consistency using a little water if required.
3. In a pressure pan, heat the gingely oil of the 1st tempering. When hot, add the mustard seeds. As they begin to crackle add the black gram. When the gram turns golden, add the pepper powder & asafetida.
4. Immediately reduce flame & toss in the diced vegetables. Saute for 1-2 mins, add salt & ½ cup water, close the pressure pan and cook for 2-3 whistles. Switch off flame and allow the pressure to subside.
5. Open lid, switch on flame and add the cooked red gram. Allow to simmer over low flame for 2-3 mins. Add the paste and continue to cook for another 4-5 mins or until the kootu comes to a boil. Switch off flame. Transfer into serving bowl.
6. In a small wok, heat the coconut oil for the 2nd tempering. When hot, add the mustard seeds. As they begin to crackle add the black gram. When the gram starts to change colour, add the grated coconut and roast over low flame until both the gram & the coconut turn golden brown. Switch off flame, add curry leaves and pour this aromatic tempering into the ready kootu.
7. Serve with steaming hot rice or chapattis, a dollop of ghee and lots of love.


Tip 1: Add 1 tsp ghee to the 2nd tempering along with the curry leaves before pouring into the kootu.
Tip 2: You can substitute Snakegourd with Broad beans or Chow chow. You can also make this kootu with just Bottlegourd.

Photo Courtesy: Food pic by Manasvi.


This recipe was first featured in Soul Food and Soul Mates – a column in Harmony Magazine. Part-1 of this post is the interview with Ram & Padmini Mani of Kodaikanal.


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