So when the weather is cloudy, gloomy and cold, we need something to warm up the system from inside. Kootu is such a comforting recipe for this season especially with the pepper and its super medicinal benefits. When we visited India last summer, dear friend M gave me some home grown (read farm house grown) dried black pepper. The amount she gave me was so huge that it will last me for a long long time, but looking at those fresh, strong smelling pepper corns I decided to take the entire offer (yes, I hoard quality ingredients). It is so flavorful and stood apart from all the store bought pepper corns I have used over the years. Thanks M, I have preserved the packets in the deep freezer and take out only what I need :-) and now I know where to go when the stock needs replenishing.
I generally use the kootu to throw in vegetables so I can get two things done at once but today's kootu is special as I am sending it to Vardhini's monthly event featuring greens. She asked for greens based recipes, I love greens, and here comes the first one. Dill has a strong flavor unlike the mild spinach or amarnath and works well in few specific recipes. I use them in kootu, bassaru (recipe to follow), akki rotti, masala breads so I can taste and smell the distinct Dill flavor. The comforting Sabsige soppu kootu recipe for a cold day is from nammamma's kitchen.
What do you need to make Dill leaves kootu?
1 cup Toor dal/togari bele
2 packed cups cleaned, chopped Dill leaves
1/2 cup milk (I used skim milk)
3 cups water to cook
1 Tblsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 Tsp chana dal/Kadle bele
1/2 Tsp Urad dal/uddina bele
1 Tsp black pepper corns/menasu
1/2 Tsp cumin seeds/jeerige
1/2 Tsp coriander seeds/kothambari
1 dry red chili
2 Tsp grated coconut -fresh or frozen
How do you make Dill Leaves kootu?
- Wash the toor dal in water and cook it until soft but the dal holds shape, I used my pressure cooker and cooked it for 10 minutes.
- Dill leaves take longer to cook/wilt than spinach, so cook it in the pressure cooker along with the toor dal.
- Dry roast the masala ingredients except for the coconut on medium heat until your kitchen is surrounded in a heavenly aroma :-), it will take about 5 minutes to fry them till done.
- Once cool, grind them with coconut to a smooth paste.
- Add the ground masala to the cooked dal and Dill mixture, salt and milk.
- Add water to get desired consistency and bring it to a rolling boil.
- Enjoy the spicy, flavorful kootu with rice, it tastes good as an accompaniment to chapatis, dosa & ildy also.
- The Dill I get locally are much longer than what I have seen back home in India, I pick the leaves and chop them and discard the long stalks.
- The kootu should be just a tad bit more watery compared to a curry so it mixes well with the rice and sticks well to rotis or dosa.
- Dal needs to be cooked tender yet holding its shape.
The Dill leaves kootu goes to Tickling Palates monthly event featuring greens.