Sorakkai kootu recipe – South Indian style bottle gourd recipe cooked with lentils, spices and herbs. Sorakkai is the telugu and tamil name for bottle gourd. It is one of the most used veggie in Indian Cuisine. Bottle gourd is often used to make curries, halwa, kheer and even cooked with lentils.
Kootu is a lentil based dish from South Indian cuisine which is most commonly made with veggies like bottle gourd, pumpkin, cabbage or even with mixed vegetables.
Sorakkai is one of our favorite veggies at home and I often use it to make this bottle gourd stir fry. This sorakkai kootu is great to serve for lunch along with some plain rice, papad and pickle. It also goes well with roti.
There are numerous ways to make a kootu recipe. This is the way we make it at home. Here are my tips to make sorakkai kootu.
Choice of dal: I have used moong dal here. You can use any dal of your choice like toor dal or even a mix of toor and moong dal. I made this during the hot summer days. Since moong dal is cooling to the body I used it.
Kootu paste: The key to a nice and flavorful kootu is the paste we make with roasted ingredients. This not only adds aroma but also enhances the taste of the sorakkai kootu.
Sorakkai: Always taste the sorakkai before cooking. Avoid using bitter tasting veggie as bitter tasting bottle gourd is said to be toxic.
Sorakkai kootu recipe
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 tbsp ghee or ½ tbsp. oil
- ½ tsp mustard
- 1 Pinch hing
- 3 to 4 tbsp coconut grated
- 2 to 3 red chilies
- ½ to ¾ tsp cumin
- 1 to 1 ½ tbsp chana dal or bengal gram
How to make the recipe
- Soak tamarind in a bowl of hot water and set aside to soak. Squeeze and filter it. Set aside.
- Add dal to a bowl and rinse well till the water runs clear. Set this aside.
- Wash bottle gourd, peel the skin and cube.
- Add it to the dal along with 1½ to 2 cups water.
- Cook till the dal and bottle gourd are cooked well.
- You can pressure cook for 2 whistles.
Making sorakkai kootu
- In a small tadka pan, dry roast red chilies and chana dal until golden and aromatic.
- Then add cumin and fry for 30 seconds.
- Cool these and blend together with coconut and water as needed to a thick paste.
- When the dal and gourd is cooked completely, add the ground paste, tamarind and turmeric.
- Stir and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes. Add more water if needed to bring it to the desired consistency.
- Allow the sorakkai kootu to bubble & turn aromatic.
- Heat a pan with ghee or oil, then add mustard and cumin.
- When they begin to crackle, add curry leaves, red chili and hing.
- Switch off the stove and add the tempering to sorakkai kootu. Serve with rice or chapathi.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.
1. If you do not have tamarind paste ready, soak little tamarind in a bowl of hot water. Soak it to soften. Squeeze, filter and set aside till needed.
2. Wash and peel sorakkai. Chop to cubes.
3. Wash dal. Cook dal and sorakkai together with 1 1/2 to 2 cups water. You can also pressure cook for 2 whistles until soft.
4. Mean while, dry roast red chilies till crisp and chana dal till golden. Switch off and add cumin. Cool them. Blend together fresh coconut, red chilies, cumin and dal.
5. Make a paste adding water as needed and blend.
6. When the dal and sorakkai are soft cooked, add the ground paste and turmeric. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes. If needed pour little more water.
Making sorakkai kootu
7. Add tamarind paste and salt.
8. Stir and cook till it begins to bubble.
9. Temper with tempering ingredients.
Pour it to the dal. Stir and serve sorakkai kootu with phulka or rice.