I just finished watching the Food52 live video at Kalustyans with Padma Lakshmi & that got me craving South Indian Food, Given that this is winter pumpkin season, this is my dinner entree on a regualr basis during the season.
Pumpkins for some reasons are associated with auspicious events and happy occasions (the yellow maybe suggests the bright happy shade of turmeric, whereas the white winter melons are normally a substitute for sacrifices, long explanations exist , but beyond the scope of a delicious recipe).
the spice blend is like a mother sauce for almost all 'kootu' dishes, just pick any vegetable you want, winter melon, zucchini, french beans, even spinach. —Panfusine
Spice blend for the 'gravy'
fresh grated coconut
dried arbol chiles
peeled & diced squash (butternut, cheese or calabaza)
Soak the cumin, arbol chile and coconut in a little bit of warm water for about 10-15 minutes, blend into a smooth paste.
combine the diced pumpkin, curry leaves, turmeric and salt with water in a pan and cook until the vegetable is fork tender. Add the coconut and cumin paste to the mix, and simmer until the flavors combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds, Urad and whole arbol chile when it gets smoking hot. once the mustard sputters, , and the urad & arbol chile turn color, pour this hot oil over the 'kootu'. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot with rice.