Kootu is a stew like side dish prepared with a combination of moong dal/toor dal and vegetables/greens. It is served as an accompaniment to rice/rotis. Below is the basic version of kootu prepared in our home.

Usually vegetables like cabbage, green beans, cauliflower, chayote squash (chow chow), white pumpkin and all types of greens are used to prepare kootu. My grandmother also used spring onions to prepare kootu. I have never eaten it anywhere else, even in our extended family. When I googled it recently I found a couple of entries from my fellow food bloggers including Sia. Since the recipes are different, here's my grandmother's version of Spring Onion Kootu/Dal. This kootu is very good with both chapathis and rice. When eating it with rice, I would also suggest including a spicy pickle like mango, lemon or gooseberry as this will enhance the taste very much.

Spring Onion Kootu

Recipe: Spring Onion Kootu (Thick Lentil Stew of Moong dal & Spring Onions)
Prep & Cooking Time: 30 minutes.
Serves: 2-3 people
Recipe Level: Beginner/Basic
Recipe/Post by: Madhuram
1/3 cup Moong Dal/Split Green Lentils
2 bunches Spring Onion/Scallions, chopped
2 cups Water
1-1¼ teaspoon Salt
A pinch Turmeric Powder

2 teaspoons Oil
½ teaspoon Mustard seeds
1 teaspoon Chana Dal/Split Bengal Gram
1 teaspoon Urad Dal/Split Black Lentils
3-4 Curry Leaves (if you have in hand)
A pinch Hing/Asafoetida

For the Masala:
3-4 tablespoons Coconut, grated
1 and ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
½ Green Chili, medium size
1 Red Chili, small

Special Utensils:
A Pressure Cooker

Ingredients for Spring Onion Kootu

  1. Add the oil directly in a small size pressure cooker and temper.
  2. Then to it add the washed and drained moong dal and chopped spring onion. Also add the water, salt and turmeric powder. Close the lid and wait for the steam.
  3. Once the steam escapes add the weight and just leave it for one whistle and turn off the stove.
  4. While the dal is cooking grind together the ingredients for the masala in a mixer/blender using little water as needed. It should be a fine paste.
  5. When the pressure releases open the cooker; add the masala to the cooked dal, turn on the heat and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Check for salt and garnish it with some fresh coriander leaves.

Special Notes/Tips:
  • This dish can be prepared without a pressure cooker also. In a vessel/pan do the tadka and add the moong dal and some water. When the dal is almost cooked add the chopped spring onions, some more water and let it cook completely. Then proceed with the same procedure as mentioned above.
  • While grinding the masala, usually only red chillies are used. But I use a combination of green chili and red chili and it definitely enhances the flavor of the kootu.
  • Traditionally tempering is done in a small frying pan and then added to the kootu at the end or just before serving, so that the dals retain their crunch. But I do it straight away in the cooker itself to make it a one pot dish and quick.
  • Using the same procedure one can prepare kootu using any other vegetables/greens instead of spring onions.

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  1. Sia // 18 June 2009 at 16:40  

    Madhu, I make spring onion dal in different way but i love the way u have made kootu with it. coconut, spring onion and moong...simple flavours and delicious result, what not to like! :)

  2. Parita // 18 June 2009 at 17:06  

    Spring onions and moong dal, lovely combination, kootu looks delicious!

  3. Pooja // 18 June 2009 at 19:53  

    yummy kootu...

  4. Nithya Praveen // 18 June 2009 at 22:23  

    Spring onions and coconut...thats new to me.Lovely Idea Madhuram.Simple flavors and yummy!

  5. Nags // 19 June 2009 at 07:02  

    awesome idea :)

  6. Pavithra // 19 June 2009 at 11:42  

    Looking yummy .. always this is comforting meal

  7. Vcuisine // 19 June 2009 at 11:48  

    Madhu, I tasted this first from my mom. The moong dhal complimented with coconut and jeera - never disappoint us. You haven't twisted the traditional one. Very nice. Viji

  8. Divya Vikram // 19 June 2009 at 23:26  

    That looks like a lovely bowl of goodness!

  9. Pinky // 20 June 2009 at 21:05  

    Hey...This is Lovely stew... your blog has a nice collection of south Indian Recipes ... which I like very much...

  10. Pinky // 20 June 2009 at 21:05  

    Hey...This is Lovely stew... your blog has a nice collection of south Indian Recipes ... which I like very much...

  11. meeso // 22 June 2009 at 05:32  

    This recipe looks nice, so I have bookmarked to try :)

  12. Hari Chandana // 22 June 2009 at 09:12  

    simply superb!!!

  13. rekhas kitchen // 22 June 2009 at 17:19  

    Spring onion and moong dal ummmmm interesting never made this combination will try this soon looks yum.

  14. Vani // 25 June 2009 at 22:18  

    Love the simplicity of this kootu, Madhu. Will try it for sure!

  15. Jayashree // 13 July 2009 at 16:40  

    I like the idea of adding spring onions to koottu.