This is a minor variant to Ash-Gourd Mor kuzhambu. This actually is a pallakad style dish and also resembles an Avial in terms of the base for this kootu. Very simple , takes less than 20 minutes to make , only care to be taken is , it has to be cooked in low to medium heat. Requires sour curd but fresh curd can also be used. If using fresh curd , do not refrigerate it , let it sit in room temperature because this dish requires to be lightly sour in taste.
This kootu is eaten as a main dish with rice , the suggested accompaniments with this kootu is Potato roast or Tanjore style aubergine stir fry or Tanjore style Plantain stir fry.
This suggested meal plan will take about 30-35 minutes if cooked simultaneously using a three burner stove or a two burner stove. A family of four can have a hearty meal.
Buy a half kilo ash-gourd from the grocery store. Clean it and remove its seeds. Chop into small cubes and keep it ready.
For the paste
- Chop the ash gourd into small cubes or bite sized cubes , whichever suits your convenience and taste.
- Put this in a vessel , fill it with water , it has to just about submerge . Ash gourd itself is a watery vegetable , as it cooks it leaves water , so add water carefully. Add little salt to season the vegetable and also put in few curry leaves. Keep it on medium heat and cook this until ash gourd turns tender.
- Meanwhile , arrange the ingredients for the paste. Take about 2 tbsps of chana dal and 2 tbsps of toor dal and soak this in the blender jar , with is add the rest of the ingredients required for the paste. Add salt wisely , as we have already added for the ash gourd to cook too. Do not add too much water to this , grind it into a smooth paste.
- Check if the ash gourd is cooked. Take a knife and insert it in one of the pieces. It should go in easily , if it does then it is cooked. Now add the ground paste to this. Stir it and keep the heat in low. At this stage care should be taken as the bottom of the vessel might burn and give a smoky flavor to the dish , hence stir continuously.
- Now take a bowl , pour the required amount of sour curd and add little water and whisk it. Pour this into the ash-gourd and stir.
- After you add the sour curd , allow it to boil , stir it continuously. When it boils it’ll form froth on the surface. Switch off the stove and take it off the heat.
- Now add the coconut oil to this and mix. The coconut oil will float on the surface.
- Take a small kadaai or a pan and get the tempering ready. Pour it over the kootu , and serve it hot.
If the kootu is too runny in consistency , take a small bowl add 2 tbsps of besan (chickpea flour) and add little water to this and make it into a paste. Pour it in the kootu after adding the sour curd. Let it boil until it forms froth on the surface. This mixture acts as a thickening agent to the kootu.