Kootu is a popular South Indian accompaniment to rice. It is usually made with a combination of vegetables, lentils and coconut. It is generally mild but you can make it spicy if you like it that way. Ash gourd and yam, Chayote (chow chow, carrots, potatoes) are few of the combinations of veggies which are popularly used to prepare kootu.
I came to know about this raw tomato kootu from my MIL. I’ve never seen my mother use raw tomatoes in her kitchen. So I never cooked with it all these days. But my MIL always used to tell about it. She always talked of it as a very delicious combination with rotis. But somehow all these years, I never found raw tomatoes in the markets.
Last time, when I went vegetable shopping, I found lots of fresh raw tomatoes and was immediately reminded of my MIL, so picked up a kilo of those and came home. Asked her for the recipe and prepared it immediately. I made it twice, once we had it with a combination of rice and rasam and on the second day had it with rotis. I felt it tasted better with rotis because of the tang from the tomatoes. And unlike the regular mild kootu, this would be better if little spicy. So if you like a sweet, sour and spicy taste, then this one is for you.
What you'll need
- Raw Tomatoes – 5 to 6 (I used country tomatoes)
- Split Yellow Moong Dal – 3 heaped tbsp
- Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Channa Dal – ½ tbsp
- Black Peppercorns – about 15
- Dried Red Chilly – 2
- Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
- Freshly Scraped Coconut – ¼ cup
- Coconut oil – 2 tsp
- Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
- Urad Dal – ½ tsp
- Asafoetida – a pinch
- Curry Leaves Few
- Pressure cook the dal with enough water. Once cool, mash and keep aside.
- Wash and chop the raw tomatoes into medium sized cubes. Don’t make it too small.
- Heat a kadai, add the chopped tomatoes and 1 cup of water.
- Add salt, sugar and turmeric powder, cover and cook till the tomatoes are cooked. Take care not to make them mushy.
- In the meanwhile, heat a small frying pan with a tsp of oil, roast the channa dal, peppercorns and dried red chillies. Grind these along with cumin seeds and coconut into a fine paste with some water.
- Once the tomatoes are cooked, add the mashed dal and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Now add the ground paste and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Check for seasoning.
- Heat a small frying pan with oil, temper with mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida and curry leaves. Pour over the kootu.
Serve with plain rice or with chappathis.
- After cooking the tomatoes, there will be some water left, let it remain. After adding the dal and ground paste the consistency will thicken.
- You can use tuvar dal instead of Moong dal.
- I added the sugar to balance out the tartness from the tomatoes.