Serving
(click to enlarge)

Ash Gourd & Moong Dal Kootu
India - Tamil Nadu
  -   Poosanikkai Kootu
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
4 side  
**
1/2 hr
Most
As "Winter Melon" this gourd can be found in most markets serving an East or South Asian community. This recipe has a lot of steps, but it's really rather easy. Several operations can be done concurrently, and all but the very last steps can be done even a day ahead - well actually it all can because it reheats well.



1-1/4
1/2
1/4
1
------
1
1/2
2
6
1
1/4
1/2
------
2
1
------
#
c
t
c
---
T
t


T
c
t
---
2
t
---
Ash Gourd (1)
Moong Dal (2)
Turmeric
Water
-- Paste
Urad Dal (3)
Cumin Seed
Chili, dry (4)
Curry Leaves (5)
Oil
Coconut, grated (6)
Salt
-----------
Oil
Mustard Seeds
-- Garnish
Cilantro Leaves
Prep   -   (1 hr)
  1. Remove seed mass from ASH GOURD. Cut into strips narrow enough so you can peel them with your vegetable peeler. Cut into cubes about 3/4 inch on a side, or whatever size you prefer. Put in a pot with water to cover, bring to a boil and simmer until done, about 15 minutes. The pieces are done when they're translucent to the center. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the water.
  2. Rinse MOONG DAL well and soak in water to cover for 1/2 hour, Drain and put in a saucepan with Turmeric and 1 c Water. Bring to a boil uncovered (to keep it from foaming over), then cover and simmer on very low heat until done - 1/2 to 3/4 hour depending on how you like your dal (in India they like it quite mushy).
  3. In a mortar, crush URAD DAL until a bit coarser than coarse corn meal.
  4. In a small skillet, heat 1 t Oil. Stir in Urad Dal, Cumin Seed, Chilis and Curry Leaves. Fry stirring over very moderate flame until the Urad becomes a light golden color. Turn off heat and stir in Coconut and Salt. Pour out on a plate to cool thoroughly.
  5. Pound cooled Paste mix in a mortar until it is a paste, then mix it with the cooked Moong.
RUN   -   (8 min)
  1. Heat OIL in a sauté pan and sir in Mustard Seeds. Fry stirring until seeds are popping well.
  2. Stir in Ash Gourd and about 1/2 cup of the reserved Cooking Water. Bring it up to a boil, then stir in Moong mix. Adjust liquid so it's the consistency you want (I make it fairly loose to go with rice) and bring back up hot.
  3. Serve hot.
NOTES:
  1. Ash Gourd:   Sold as "Winter Melon", these large gourds can be found in most Asian markets in North America. they are so large they are usually cut into wedges and bagged in plastic so you can buy by the piece. For details see our Ash Gourd page
  2. Moon Dal:   This is the common green mung bean split and peeled. For details see our Mung Bean page..
  3. Urad Dal:   Urad is just like Mung Beans except black instead of green. The dal is ivory white rather than yellow. For details see our Urad Beans page.
  4. Chilis:   If you like hot, use dried red de Arbols or Thai chilis. For less heat use the common Japones. For details see our Chili Page.
  5. Curry Leaves:   These are necessary for the true flavor of southern India. They are now grown in California and available fresh in many markets serving Indian communities. They aren't effective dried. If you don't have them, leave them out - there is no acceptable substitute. For details see our Curry Leaf page.
  6. Coconut:   For this recipe we presume this is dried grated coconut, but just a little more of fresh grated could be used.
  7. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste

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