Poricha Kootu

Poricha Kootu with Pudalangai

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Poricha kootu is a classic South Indian vegetable stew that’s served with rice, ghee and appalam / pappadam. Once you have learnt this recipe, there are a number of vegetables that can be cooked in this style in one pot to make your weekday meals a breeze. Let’s dive in…

What is Poricha Kootu

While sambar and rasam are among the better known recipes of southern India, this hidden gem Poricha Kootu (aka Poricha Kuzhambu) no less powerful in terms of taste and deserves a go in your kitchen. A unique blend of roasted black pepper, black gram, cumin and coconut brings out some wonderful flavors. While this recipe can be made with a variety of vegetables, the one that I am about to share is cooked with an exotic vegetable (well, technically a fruit) in the Americas – snake gourd (pudalangai or podalangai in Tamil) which is my family favorite! Without further ado…

Poricha Kootu

What you will need to make Poricha Kootu

Ingredients

Note: 1 cup = 235 ml

For Poricha Kootu base

  1. ½ cup moong dal (split yellow mung bean)
  2. 4 ¼ cups water
  3. ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  4. 3 cups diced snake gourd
  5. Salt to taste (I used 1 ¾ tsp. iodized table salt) 

For grinding Poricha Kootu masala

  1. 1 Tbsp. urad dal (husked black gram)
  2. ½ Tbsp. black peppercorns
  3. 1 tsp. cumin 
  4. 2 whole dry red chilis
  5. 1 sprig curry leaves (about 10 leaves)
  6. 1 cup grated coconut

For tempering

  1. 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  2. 1 ½ tsp. split husked urad dal
  3. 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  4. 1 sprig curry leaves

Equipment

  1. Flat bottom pan
  2. Flat ladle
  3. Small blender
  4. Instant Pot / Pressure cooker
Ingredients for Poricha Kootu

A few substitutes for key ingredients

Yellow split moong beans / dal is easily available in most Indian grocery stores. If not available, you can substitute this with masoor dal (red lentils) or toor dal

Snake gourd is a tropical vegetable found in most Indian grocery stores. However, you can substitute this with any variety of squash or green beans


How to prepare Poricha Kootu – An Overview

For best results, every time you make poricha kootu first pressure cook lentils, then dump-cook everything, and finally temper and serve!

Tips before you begin

📝 Black pepper, split black gram and curry leaves are the heart and soul of this recipe. I would recommend not to embark on this recipe if you are missing any one of these ingredients

📝Roasting and grinding the masala just before making this recipe will give it a finger licking flavor


How to make Poricha Kootu – Instructions with step-by-step images

Prep lentils, spices and vegetables

Step 1 – Wash ½ cup moong dal and pressure cook by adding ¼ tsp. turmeric powder and 1 ½ cups water. Set your Instant Pot on manual high for 3 minutes with valve on sealing. Turn off heat and set it aside for natural pressure release.

If using a regular pressure cooker, cook for up to 2 whistles. You can also use a heavy bottom pan for this step and cook until the dal is soft and mushy. Make sure to triple the water as open pot methods use more water

Step 2 – Dry roast 1 Tbsp. urad dal (husked black gram), ½ Tbsp. black peppercorns, 1 tsp. cumin, 2 whole dry red chilis and 1 sprig curry leaves (about 10 leaves) until the urad dal changes color and the spices start to give out a flavorful aroma

Step 3 – Now add grated coconut and roast it for another minute, turn off the heat and set it aside to cool down to room temperature

Step 4 – While the roasted ingredients cool down, wash the snake gourd under running water, scrape the top layer skin with a blunt knife, slit it open, scrape out the seeds, dice and set aside

Step 5 – Add ½ cup water to the roasted ingredients (from Step 3) and grind to a coarse paste using a small spice blender. Add another ½ cup water and grind it to a smooth paste

Adding water a little at a time while grinding improves the texture of the ground spice paste

Dump cook everything 

Step 6 – Mash the cooked dal from step 1 with a ladle

Step 7 – To that, add diced snake gourd (step-), the ground paste(step-), remaining 2 ¼ cups water, salt to taste (1 ¾ tsp. salt) and set Instant Pot on manual high for 2 minutes with valve on sealing. Turn off heat and set it aside for natural pressure release

If using a regular pressure cooker, cook up to 2 whistles. You can also use a heavy bottom pan for this step and cook until the vegetable is cooked to fork tender.

Temper & serve

Step 8 – Heat coconut oil in a tempering pan on medium heat setting. Add 1tsp. mustard seeds and allow it to crackle. Now add 1½ tsp. split urad dal and let it cook until golden brown (this will take about for 30 seconds)

Step 9 – Turn off heat, add curry leaves, and pour it over the kootu

Step 10 – Enjoy your sublime Podalangai Poricha Kootu with hot steamed rice, home made ghee, and yummy appalams 😋

Sublime Poricha kootu ready for serving

How to serve Poricha Kootu

Serve poricha kootu with steamed rice topped with a dollop of ghee with a side of fresh pepper corns, mangai pachidi, chips, or appalam / pappadum

How to serve poricha kootu

Why Pudalangai Poricha Kootu is close to my heart 

Poricha kootu with papadum was one of my all time favorites. But that did not mean I made the best poricha kootu. I used to make a decent version of it but when I started collecting family favorites from my extended family, I learnt that one of my aunt’s (Mangalam Athai’s) poricha kootu recipe was to die for! Sadly, my aunt had passed away a few years ago. But to my luck her daughter, Jayashree Rajesh, had memorized this and was more than happy to pass it on to me. Her secret tip of roasting grated coconuts along with other spices made this recipe simply sublime. I am delighted to share it here with you all, as such tasty recipes that are passed on by word of mouth deserve to be documented for the future generations to savor. Do not forget to save this jewel in your kitchen diaries! 

Related Recipes


Recipe Card – Pudalangai Poricha Kootu

Poricha Kootu

Pudalangai Poricha Kootu

Aparna
Poricha kootu is a classic South Indian vegetable stew that’s served with rice, ghee and appalam / pappadam.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 People

Equipment

  • Flat bottom pan
  • Flat ladle
  • Small blender
  • Instant Pot / Pressure cooker

Ingredients
  

For Poricha Kootu base

  • ½ cup split yellow mung bean (moong dal)
  • cups water
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 3 cups diced snake gourd
  • tsp. salt (or to taste)

For grinding Poricha Kootu masala

  • 1 Tbsp. husked black gram (urad dal)
  • ½ Tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 whole dry red chilis
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (about 10 leaves)
  • 1 cup grated coconut (fresh or frozen)

For tempering

  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • tsp. split husked urad dal
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves

Instructions
 

Prep lentils, spices and vegetables

  • Wash ½ cup moong dal and pressure cook by adding ¼ tsp. turmeric powder and 1 ½ cups water. Set your Instant Pot on manual high for 3 minutes with valve on sealing. Turn off heat and set it aside for natural pressure release
    If using a regular pressure cooker, cook for up to 2 whistles. You can also use a heavy bottom pan for this step and cook until the dal is soft and mushy. Make sure to triple the water as open pot methods use more water
  • Dry roast 1 Tbsp. urad dal (husked black gram), ½ Tbsp. black peppercorns, 1 tsp. cumin seeds, 2 whole dry red chilis and 1 sprig curry leaves (about 10 leaves) until the urad dal changes color and the spices start to give out a flavorful aroma
  • Now add grated coconut and roast it for another minute, turn off the heat and set it aside to cool down to room temperature
    If usingfrozen grated coconut, pop it into the microwave for a minute to thaw
  • While the roasted ingredients cool down, wash the snake gourd under running water, scrape the top layer skin with a blunt knife, slit it open, scrape out the seeds, dice and set aside
  • Add ½ cup water to the roasted ingredients (from Step 3) and grind to a coarse paste using a small spice blender. Add another ½ cup water and grind it to a smooth paste
    Adding water a little at a time while grinding improves the texture of the ground spice paste

Dump cook everything 

  • Mash the cooked dal from step 1 with a ladle
  • To that, add diced snake gourd (step-), the ground paste(step-), remaining 2 ¼cups water, salt to taste (1 ¾ tsp. salt) and set Instant Pot on manual high for 2 minutes with valve on sealing. Turn off heat and set it aside for natural pressure release
    If using a regular pressure cooker, cook up to 2 whistles. You can also use a heavy bottom pan for this step and cook until the vegetable is cooked to fork tender
    To that, add diced snake gourd (step-), the ground paste(step-), remaining 2 ¼ cups water, salt to taste (1 ¾ tsp. salt) and set Instant Pot on manual high for 2 minutes with valve on sealing. Turn off heat and set it aside for natural pressure release

Temper & serve

  • Heat coconut oil in a tempering pan on medium heat setting. Add 1tsp. mustard seeds and allow it to crackle. Now add 1½ tsp. split urad dal and let it cook until golden brown (this will take about for 30 seconds)
  • Turn off the heat, add curry leaves, and pour it over the kootu
  • Enjoy your sublime Podalangai Poricha Kootu with hot steamed rice, home made ghee, and yummy appalams 😋

Nutrition Facts

6 servings per container

Serving Size2g


Calories178

  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 18g 28%
    • Saturated Fat 8g 40%
  • Sodium 80mg 4%
  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Potassium 462mg 14%
  • Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
    • Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
  • Protein 5g 10%
  • Vitamin A 4%
  • Vitamin C 10%
  • Calcium 11%
  • Iron 43%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


FAQs

❔ Can I add desiccated coconuts

Absolutely not. Desiccated coconuts will give out a peculiar coconut oil taste which will ruin the end recipe. Instead, add a few almonds and does not require roasting

❔ Can I make this ahead of time

Yes, you sure can. Since it is very similar to lentil stew or soup, you can freeze a batch for those busy weeknight dinners

Thank you for stopping by. If you’ve tried this recipe, I would love to hear from you. Please add your comments below and / or rate this recipe. Your feedback will help me improve and share better recipes with you. 


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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to make this at the weekend! We are all curry lovers here, so it’ll be a delicious feast for us for sure!

  2. 5 stars
    I love a good vegetable stew. Yours sounds delish!

  3. 5 stars
    This looks interesting and delicious! Can’t wait to give this a try!

  4. 5 stars
    Gave this a try for dinner last night and it did not disappoint! So unique and unexpected; the whole family loved it!

  5. 5 stars
    South Indian cuisine is absolutely amazing! There are so many delicious stews to explore, and this is one of them. Can’t wait!

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