December 2, 2011

Acorn Squash & Green Mung Dal in Roasted Coconut gravy (Mathan Cherrupayar Varathaarracha curry)

This dish just calls for 1 Teaspoon of oil and is made of healthy ingredients like Acorn Squash and Green Moong Dal. 
Acorn squash (Cucurbita pepo), also called Pepper squash or Des Moines squash, is a winter squash with distinctive longitudinal ridges and sweet, yellow-orange flesh. Although considered a winter squash, Acorn squash belongs to the same species as all summer squashes (including Zucchini and Yellow Crookneck squash). 
The most common variety is dark green in color, often with a single splotch of orange on the side or top. However, newer varieties have been hitting the market, including the Golden Acorn, for its glowing yellow color, and some that are white. They can also be variegated (multicolored). As the name suggests, its shape resembles that of an acorn, between four and seven inches long and typically weigh around one to two pounds.  

The word varatha-arrachadu (which means roasted and then ground) are one of the few jargon's used in Kerala cooking which literally make me drool. Here is a  recipe I tried out today and was totally excited about while talking to my husband over the phone, who was just munching his dull dry sandwich at work. I guess I made him really crave for a nice home cooked nadan(Kerala Style) meal. My daughter seemed to love this preparation as well as she ate much more than her usual quota,  so I guess she's got the same taste buds as mine 

Serves 6

To pressure cook
1 1/4 Lb - Acron squash, skinned,seeded and cubed
1 Clove - Garlic
3/4 Cup - Green Mung Dal / Green Moong Dhal/ Dry Green Bean/Cherrupayar

To grind
1/2 Cup - Coconut (desiccated or fresh)
10 - Shallots or 1/2 - Onion, chopped
1 cm - Fresh Ginger,chopped
1 clove - Garlic, chopped
2 Tsp - Coriander Powder
1 Tsp - Red Chilly powder
1/2 Tsp - Turmeric Powder
1/2 Tsp - Jeera Powder/ Cumin Powder
Curry leaves a few

Tadka/ Seasoning
1/2 Tsp - Mustard Seeds
1 Tsp - Oil (prefer coconut oil for authentic taste)
2- Dry Red Chilly
Curry leaves a few

  • In the pressure cooker, add the acorn squash, green moong dal, garlic,salt and enough water. After the first whistle, cook on medium low for 10 minutes.Open the lid only after the pressure fully subsides
  • Dry roast the coconut, shallots/onions, ginger, garlic, coriander powder, red chilly powder, turmeric powder, jeera powder/cumin powder and curry leaves in a kadai until the coconut are browned.
  • Let the above mixture cool
  • Transfer this mixture into a blender with just enough water to make a fine paste.
  • Add this paste to the cooked green moong dal and Acorn squash mixture and cook for 5 minutes. Check the salt and add more if needed
  • In a Kadai, heat some oil and add mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Add the dry red chilly and curry leaves and saute it for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tadka/seasoning to the dish.
  • Serve with hot rice.
  • Notes and Tips
  • Desiccated coconut is easier to brown that regular fresh coconut
  • Use coconut oil for rich authentic flavor


  1. ..cherupayar and mathan will go well...yumm yumm.

  2. Very tempting curry,n perfect combo!!
    I too love varutharacha curries esp our theeyals..
    Ongoing Event -Christmas Delicacy (15 Nov-31 Dec 2011)
    Erivum Puliyum

  3. This looks great, sorta like erisseri but different. I love varuthu aracha anything! :)

  4. Very different dish, the pictures are superb!

  5. I tried this recipe. Its very nice. thank you


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