Pudalangai / Snake Gourd , is a very long vegetable that is usually used to make poriyal and Kootu. But off late I see a lot on food connoisseurs “Innovating” a lot of recipes using this vegetable. But , I’m not going to do anything like that. I’m going to show you how to make a simple kootu (Lentil stew) based recipe which my mum prepares in a jiffy. This is not the ubiquitous ‘Poricha kootu’ or ‘Mulaguttal’ recipe. This is also called as ‘Podi potta kootu’ loosely translated as ‘Lentil stew made using south Indian spice powders’. I’ve used Saathumadhu podi / Rasam Powder for this recipe.
There are two types of snake gourds available in the market the usual looooooong one , maybe that is why it is called as ‘Pudaloooooooongai’…hehehe!!!
And there is this hybrid one that is short and stout. It does not taste as good as the long one and is slightly bitter in taste.
The one I have used is ‘Pudaloooooooooonga’ . While buying this type of gourd , press the middle section and check if it cracks or breaks easily , then it is a tender one , buy it. Its tastes better and cooks faster.
Chop this into small semi circles , remove its seeds and keep this in a steel vessel. To this add 1 cup of moong dal and pressure cook this for 4 whistles. Meanwhile , take a blender jar add a handful of coconut scrapings ,a tsp of cumin seeds ,1 green chilly , a tsp of black peppercorns and 2 tsps of Saathumadhu / Rasam Podi. Add little water and grind it to a smooth paste.
Now release the pressure cooker and take out the vessel , Now keep this vessel with cooked pudalangai-Dal mixture on low heat. Add the paste , salt and 1/2 cup of water and stir. Allow this to boil for 2 minutes in low heat. Keep stirring it otherwise the bottom layer will burn and give smoky taste to the kootu. Add the tempering of mustard seeds and white urad dal to this and serve it hot with Plain rice.
Buy the long snake gourd , it cooks faster and tastes better. The short and stout hybrid one has too much water and is slightly bitter in taste. Choose wisely
For the paste
For the thickening agent(optional)
- Wash and chop the gourd and keep it in a vessel. To this add 1 cup of moong dal and add 3 cups of water to this or until the veggies and dal is submerged. Pressure cook this up to 4 whistles.
- Take a blender jar and all the ingredients mentioned under ‘the paste’ and grind it to a smooth paste adding little water.
- After the pressure releases , take the vessel out of the cooker , keep this on low heat. Add the paste and mix. Add 1/2 cup water , salt and add few curry leaves. Allow this to boil for 2 minutes , keep stirring this or else the bottom layer will burn and give a very smoky taste to the kootu.
- Take a tadka pan on medium heat add ghee , mustard seeds , asafoetida and urad dal. Saute this until aromatic and add it to the kootu.
- If the consistency of the kootu is too lean or runny , then in a small bowl add 2 tbsps of rice flour and 2 tbsps of milk and make it to a paste. Add this to the kootu. Allow it to boil for another minute and take it off the heat.
If you are in a hurry or you want a meal quicker , chop the veggies , add the moong dal also make the paste ready and add it to the veggie-moong dal mixture , to this add 1 and a 1/2 cups of rice and add up to 6 cups of water. Add required amount of salt and curry leaves too. Pressure cook this up to 6-8 whistles. Allow the pressure to come on its own. This becomes into a kootu saadham and you have one big meal ready in 20 minutes. You can pack this for lunch to office or you can pack this as lunch for your kids too.
Click here for Saathumadhu / Rasam Powder recipe.