Cabbage kootu recipe made with dal, cabbage, spices and curry leaves. Kootu is a dal / lentil based dish from South Indian Cuisine. It is one of the most served dishes in a vegetarian meal in South Indian restaurants. Kootu is also made in many households for a everyday meal or even during festivals.
It is made with veggies like bottle gourd, pumpkin, cabbage or even with mixed vegetables. Kootu is often served with rice or phulka.
There are different ways a kootu curry is made. I have shared the way we make it at home.
I have used toor dal, you can also use moong dal, chana dal or a mix of both. The addition of roasted dal and coconut mixture brings in a unique aroma and taste to this cabbage kootu.
Cabbage can be cleaned in so many ways. You can quarter the cabbage and add them to warm salted water. Leave for a while and then rinse few times. Drain completely and chop.
You can also chop it and add to salted water. Rinse well and repeat the rinse. You can also clean each leaf of cabbage and wash first and then drain water. This is slightly a tedious work. Drain cabbage completely chop it finely.
To make cabbage kootu, dal and cabbage can be cooked together. But I have first cooked dal and then added cabbage just not to overcook it.
1. Soak 2 to 3 tablespoons tamarind in little hot water. Set aside. Add half cup dal to a pressure cooker or a bowl. You can use moong dal or toor dal or a mix of both.
2. Rinse it very well a few times until the water runs clear. Add 1 ½ cup water and pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles. If placing inside a large cooker, allow to whistle 4 to 5 times. You can also add cabbage now if you like to cook it very soft. But I prefer to add it later to cooked dal.
3. While the dal cooks, chop 2 cups cabbage and add it to a pot of salted water. Drain off and wash few times. Set this aside. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small tadka pan. Fry 2 to 4 red chilies and 1½ tablespoons chana dal until the dal turns aromatic & deep golden. Cool and add them to a blender along with 3 tablespoons coconut and ½ teaspoon cumin seeds.
4. Add little water and make a smooth paste.
How to make cabbage kootu
5. When the pressure releases naturally, add chopped cabbage to the dal. If needed pour more water. Cabbage gets cooked in just 5 to 6 minutes. If it is not tender then 8 minutes would be enough.
6. Add the ground paste. Cook for a while. Stir and cook well until the cabbage is tender.
7. When the cabbage is cooked, add tamarind paste or water. Do not add tamarind before the cabbage is cooked. Stir and allow to bubble.
8. Heat a pan, add 1 tablespoon ghee or oil. Add ¼ mustard seeds, 1 dried red chili and 8 to 10 curry leaves. When the curry leaves turn crisp. off the stove and add 1 pinch of hing.
9. Pour it to the cabbage kootu.
Cabbage kootu is ready to be served with rice or phulka.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ½ cup dal (toor dal or moong dal)
- 2 cups cabbage chopped
- 2 to 3 tablespoons tamarind (adjust to taste)
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
to roast and grind
- 3 tablespoons coconut fresh or frozen grated
- 2 to 4 dried red chilies (less spicy kind)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 to 1½ tablespoons chana dal (bengal gram)
- 1 teaspoon ghee or 2 tsps oil
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- ¾ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
- Soak tamarind in little water. Set aside.
- Add dal to a bowl and rinse it well. Pour 1 cup water to the dal.
- Pressure cook dal till soft. I usually cook for 3 whistles in pressure cooker.
- You can also pressure cook cabbage with dal, but I prefer to add it later to avoid over cooking.
- While the dal cooks, chop cabbage. Rinse it well and drain completely.
- Meanwhile in a small tadka pan, dry roast chana dal and red chilies until deep golden and aromatic.
- Then add jeera and fry for 30 seconds. Add coconut and fry for 1 to 2 mins. Cool and make a fine paste with little water.
Making cabbage kootu
- When the pressure releases add cabbage to the cooked dal. Add turmeric and ground kootu paste. Stir and cook.
- When the cabbage is cooked add tamarind. Taste test and add more salt if needed.
- Heat ghee or oil in a pan for tempering.
- Add mustard, red chilli and curry leaves. When they begin to splutter, add hing.
- Switch off and pour this to the cabbage kootu. Give a good mix and serve with rice or roti.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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