August 25, 2012

Malabar Kootu Curry (Black Chickpea, Yam and Raw Banana with Coconut)

      Kootu curry is a popular North Kerala vegetarian specialty and is truly finger-licking good. It is nutritionally abundant too, constituted by wholesome ingredients like Black Kadala (Chickpeas), Chena (Yam) and Pachakaya (Raw Banana). The vegetables are cooked with the Black Kadala (Chickpeas) in a spiced coconut paste and the final touches includes  seasoning with mustard seed, roasted coconut and curry leaves to give the dish an outstanding aromatic and smoky flavor. It was indeed so delicious  that I am actually drooling as I pen this post :) so I would really recommend this dish to anyone, especially if you have never tasted it before.

Health Benefits of Black Gram:
Black Gram is helpful for

  • Diabetes
  • Nervous disorders
  • Hair disorders
  • Digestive system disorders
  • Rheumatic afflictions

Serves 8

1 Cup - Black Chickpea (kadala)
2 Raw Banana OR 1 - Raw Plantain, (1 inch long pieces)
2 cup - Yam, cubed
2 Cloves - Garlic

For Grinding
3/4 Cup - Grated coconut
3 - Shallots
1 sprig - Curry Leaves
1/2 Tsp - Red chilli powder
1/2 Tsp - Turmeric powder
1 Cm - Ginger
1/2 Tsp - Cumin seeds
1 Tsp - Pepper Powder

For Tempering
3/4 Tsp - Mustard seeds
3 - Dried Red chilly
2 sprig - Curry Leaves
2- Shallots, sliced thin
1/4 Cup - Grated coconut


  • Soak chickpeas overnight. Cook in a pressure cooker on medium heat for 5 whistles, lower the heat and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Cook raw Banana/Plantain and Yam along with crushed Garlic and enough water. Season with salt.
  • Mix the Banana mixture with the Chickpeas.
  • Grind Coconut, Shallots, Curry leaves, red Chilly powder, Turmeric, Ginger, Cumin seeds and Pepper with some water
  • Mix the ground paste with the cooked vegetables and cooked Chickpeas
  • Sauté Mustard, Coconut slices, dry red Chilies and Curry leaves in hot coconut oil and pour over the cooked curry.
  • Serve with warm rice
Notes and Tips
  • If you run out of Shallots substitute with onion but don't skip the step as it adds a lot of flavor.
  • I read somewhere that traditional Onam sadhya items don't contain garlic, but I add them as I enjoy the flavor it imparts to the dish. You can skip it if you so prefer.
  • Some people make it semi-gravy and or even almost dry. Adjust water according to your preference.


  1. You are right, Shema. Generally, garlic is avoided. But my mother adds to Avial, it really imparts a great flavor. For kootu curry though, I think we add ginger. I'll have to check my recipe:P Shreya

  2. This combo is so interesting... will try

  3. I have never tried this combination, the pics are so inviting!
    I feel like having this with hot rotis!

  4. i've bookmarked this to try soon. need the black kadala first, other veg are easier to find.

  5. Love this koottucurry. The pictures are so beautiful :) Hope you had a wonderful Onam

  6. will there be a bitter taste? I am cooking this item right now. All mixture is boiling, but I get a slight bitter taste. Will it go away when it finishes cooking? Is it because of the raw curry leaves ground with coconut?

  7. I am cooking this item right now. I have all the mixture i the boiling state. But there is a bitter taste !! Is it because of the raw curry leaves ground with coconut and onions that is also raw?
    Will the bitter taste go away when it finishes cooking?


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