Make Ahead

Pumpkin Kootu

October  4, 2016
1 Ratings
Photo by Panfusine
  • Serves 4-5
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • Spice blend for the 'gravy'
  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 2-3 dried arbol chiles
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • Pumpkin kootu
  • 3 cups peeled & diced squash (butternut, cheese or calabaza)
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves torn
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal
  • 1 arbol chile whole
  1. Soak the cumin, arbol chile and coconut in a little bit of warm water for about 10-15 minutes, blend into a smooth paste.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • BoulderGalinTokyo
  • ChefJune
  • Panfusine
A biomedical engineer/ neuroscientist by training, currently a mommy blogger on a quest for all things food - Indian Palate, Global perspective!

5 Reviews

BoulderGalinTokyo February 10, 2021
So I made this with Kabocha but because of Covid, I didn't get to buy all the ingredients I would have like to. I made many substitutions so I don't think you would recognize my Kootu but it still was delicious. I only had coconut chips, which even after soaking never became a "paste" in my mortar, I could try the food processor next time. I used Japanese red chilis (no grilled flavor)
I don't have curry leaves- internet said a citrus substitution, so I used Yuzu from my garden with mitsuba for the green leaves Curry powder is not right, is it? I cooked it in too much water, I think just a few Tablespoons might have been enough. Is Urad dal a thickener? Didn't have any, and my mustard seeds were yellow (I will invest in black next time) Still pouring the hot Kootu over the pumpkin was a new idea and great taste. Thank you so much. Now for the curry leaves....
BoulderGalinTokyo January 8, 2021
Is Kabocha Pumpkin too sweet for this? Thanks.
Panfusine January 8, 2021
Kabocha works great for this.
ChefJune October 4, 2016
Oh yes! This sounds delicious.
Panfusine October 5, 2016
Thanks ChefJune!