Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Greens galore - Sabsige soppu (Dill leaves) kootu

While we enjoyed the faux-summer created with the Mango pappu earlier this week at home, reality strikes when you see outside and notice a cloudy sky and the chilly breeze. Yesterday was honestly crazy when mother nature thought of showing all her capabilities within a span of 30 minutes, I saw 5 minutes of rain coming straight down switching to 5 minutes of hard hails followed by the white fluffy snow and within the next 5 minutes, there was the glorious Sun smiling. I was sitting inside my closed car waiting for DD to finish up her sports practice. It was like the weather couldn't make up its mind or asking for help deciding. All the time I was sitting inside the car, I was amazed as much at the fickle changes in the sky as at the tenacity of the kids playing in the rough weather.

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)
Kootu masala: 
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.


NamsVeni Pothas said...

nice green dish. it is healthy with iron and protins. thanks Sattva for the nice Kootu.

NamsVeni Pothas said...

soppu is very healthy and tasty also.