Monday, March 06, 2017

Watermelon rind puli koottu

Bm # 74 Week 1
Theme : Festival recipes
Recipe : Puli vitta koottu (Koottu curry with tamarind)

Koottu curry with tamarind is different from the usual koottu that is made for a Kerala sadya (feast).This, I think, is the Tamil version of koottu and it finds a place in festival menus at the homes of my aunts.  The commonly used vegetables in this type of  koottu are yam (chena), plantain, or ash gourd. My choice of vegetable is slightly unusual in that I have used a part of fruit that is usually discarded. Since the rind of a watermelon has no discernible taste of its own, it lends itself beautifully to this dish, absorbing the flavors and aroma of the tamarind and coconut.

What you need:
Rind of 3/4th of a large watermelon
Chana dal - 1 cup, soaked in water for an hour
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder - 2 tsp
Tamarind - lemon sized ball, soaked in hot water for 15-20 minutes
For tempering/tadka :
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Chana dal - 2 tsp
Urad dal - 2 tsp
Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Red chilli - 2, broken
Curry leaves - a few sprigs

Cook the soaked chana dal in a pressure cooker till two whistles. The dal should not turn mushy. It should be cooked through, but still hold its shape.
Extract thick tamarind juice from the soaked tamarind. Keep aside.
Remove the green outer skin of the watermelon from the rind. Only the white part should be used. Chop it into small, bite sized pieces. Wash well, add a little water and cook in the pressure cooker till one whistle.
Add the tamarind extract, turmeric powder, sambar powder and salt to the cooked watermelon rind and let it boil on a medium flame until the raw smell of the tamarind is gone. Take care not to add too much water, as the final koottu should be quite thick. Add the cooked chana dal. Mix well and let it boil  till most of the moisture has evaporated. Dissolve a teaspoon of rice flour in a few spoonfuls of water. Add this to the boiling mixture to help it thicken and let it boil for a few minutes. Switch off the heat.
In a separate pan, heat oil. Add chana dal and urad dal. When the dals start to redden, add the broken chilli, curry leaves and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds pop, add grated coconut and stir on a low flame until reddish brown. Pour this tempering on top of the koottu. Mix well and serve hot with rice or chapati.


Gayathri Kumar said...

We don't usually add tamarind in kootu. This one with watermelon rinds sounds so yum..

vaishali sabnani said...

Very very interesting dish , must be so flavourful , never made anything with watermelon rind .

Srivalli said...

Very nice way of using watermelon rind..I remember my MIL making something similar..

Priya Suresh said...

Delicious kootu, can imagine the tanginess of this kootu, nice use of watermelon rinds.

Harini-Jaya R said...

Interesting use of the watermelon rind.

Sowmya :) said...

Have never cooked or eaten watermelon rind. It sounds fabulous. Bookmarking this

Pavani N said...

Using watermelon rind is very interesting. Kootu looks great.