The Malayali love affair with coconut is at its zenith in kootu curry, which uses coconut three ways: as oil, freshly grated, as well as roasted. What results is a richly textured dish with earthy, as well as fresh flavours, in every bite.
Recipe: Kootu Curry
Barely adapted from Southern Menu
1 cup black channa, soaked overnight
300 g yam, cubed
1 green Kerala plantain, cubed (skin on but ends chopped off)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly ground coconut
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp water
Salt to taste
Handful of curry leaves
For the roasted coconut
3 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
In a cooker, add the black channa, plantain and yam. To this add salt to taste, chilli powder, turmeric powder and ground black pepper.
Add enough water to cover the ingredients and pressure cook on medium flame for two whistles.
Meanwhile, briefly grind together the coconut, cumin and powder till it comes together — it does not need to form a paste.
Add this mixture to the pressure-cooked ingredients and let it simmer till the coconut gets cooked, about 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and add a few curry leaves.
Heat the oil in pan. Add the mustard seeds and urad dal.
Next add in the coconut and sauté on a low flame till the coconut becomes medium-brown.
Add this to the kootu curry, and mix well.
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