Bittergourd - Carrot Kootu

There are days when the vegetable tray in the fridge is almost empty and you notice that just a few minutes before you set out to prepare lunch and pack it for the bread winner of the family.You try to rustle up something with whatever is available and keep your fingers crossed till you get the dreaded phone call from him, mocking your culinary skills but actually he calls to tell you that the meal was excellent!!!

Well, that's what happened when I found a small carrot and a single bittergourd in the veggie tray and prepared this different kind of kootu to pack for his lunch box.I was really worried that it might not be very good to take to office but I was praised for preparing a different kind of dish!!!

The sweetness from the carrot and the bitterness from the bittergourd  got balanced perfectly here.If you like bittergourd add more of it or if you prefer a little sweetness in the dish add more carrots...

I used:

Bitter gourd - 1,chopped
Carrot- 1, chopped
Toor dhal -1 cup

Kootu powder - 1 teaspoon
Sambar powder- 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder -a  pinch
Peanuts- a handful
Tamarind pulp - 3/4 teaspoon dissolved in 1/2 a cup of water
Mustard- 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds- 1 teaspoon
Red chillies- 2
Curry leaves - a few
Oil- 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

  1. Microwave / steam carrots till done and keep aside.
  2. Similarly microwave bittergourd and keep aside.
  3. Pressure cook toor dhal with water and a pinch of turmeric powder.When the pressure releases, drain excess water if present [use this in rasam or as a soup] and mash well.
  4. Heat oil in a pan and put in mustard,cumin seeds, red chillies and curry leaves.
  5. When it splutters put in the tamarind extract and bring to boil.
  6. When it comes to a rolling boil, add the bittergourd and simmer for 5 minutes or till the extract  almost dries up.Take care not to burn the contents of the pan.
  7. Now put in toor dhal,carrot, salt, kootu powder, sambar powder, peanuts and add a little water[or the dal water] if needed and bring to boil.Simmer for 5 minutes.[Mix well so that there are no lumps.You can also dissolve the sambar powder and kootu powder in 1/4 cup of water and then add to the dal.This way you can avoid lumping of the powders.]
  8. Remove from heat and transfer into a serving dish.

This goes well with steamed rice and chapati...

This Day That Year...

2010 - Makhana Kheer - A delicious dessert made with milk and puffed lotus seeds.

Bon Appetit...

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