Thursday, December 27, 2018

Kootanchoru Recipe-Healthy One Pot Meal with Lentils-Greens-Vegetables

Kootanchoru is a very popular South Indian (Tirunelveli) dish which is very simple to make. Don't get intimidated by its name or by the long list of ingredients, it is actually a very simple, wholesome one pot meal prepared with rice, dal, vegetables, greens and legumes. It is very delicious and nutritious. If you do not want to use rice, you can substitute with millets like kuthiraivali, saamai or quinoa or samba ravai (only water measurement changes). Today let us learn how to make Kootanchoru following this easy recipe with step wise pictures and video. 

Kootanchoru Recipe



 Prep Time : 20 mins
 Cook Time : 25 mins 
 Serves: 2
 Recipe CategoryOne pot meals
 Recipe CuisineSouth Indian

   Ingredients needed

   Rice - 3/4 cup
   Tur Dal - 1/3 cup
   Tamarind - small lemon sized ball
   Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
   Salt needed

   Vegetables needed

   Carrot -2 medium size
   Beans -5
   Potato - 1 medium size
   Drumstick - 4 pieces
   Broad beans -3-4

   Raw Banana - 1/2 of a raw banana
   Yellow pumpkin - 1/4 cup chopped
   Brinjal - 1-2
   Raw mango - 1/4 cup chopped
   Fresh pigeon peas - 1/4 cup
   Arai keerai - fistful
   Drumstick leaves - fistful

   For the masala paste

   Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
   Pearl onion -3-4
   Garlic - 4 cloves
   Red chillies -5-6
   Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

   For the seasoning

   Oil - 2 tbsp
   Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
   Urad dal - 1 tsp
   Hing - a generous pinch
   Onion - 1 chopped
   Curry leaves - a sprig

   For Garnishing

   Ghee - 1 tsp


Clean and chop all the vegetables into medium sized pieces. If you do not have all the vegetables, it does not matter. Add also, you can add more or less of a vegetable (for eg - if you like pumpkin, you can add more than a small bit). You can add any fresh legumes of your choice. You can add peas or field beans instead of pigeon peas. It is up to you. 

Clean the greens, chop it and keep it ready.

vegetables for Kootanchoru Recipe

Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup of hot water for 20 minutes and extract thick juice. Discard the pulp.

Soak the dal in little hot water for 20 mins. This is optional. I do this always as dal gets cooked well in less time. (It also saves fuel).

Grind coconut, pearl onions, garlic, red chillies and cumin seeds to a fine paste adding very little water. 

how to make kootanchoru


Heat 2 tbsp of oil, add mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and hing. When dal turns golden brown, add chopped onions.

Saute until onion turn transparent.

Easy Kootanchoru recipe

Add the ground paste and cook for a few minutes. Then add the tamarind extract and boil for 4-5 minutes. Keep this aside.

Tirunelveli kootanchoru recipe

In a pressure cooker, add tur dal, a cup of water, carrot, beans, potato, drumstick, cluster beans, turmeric powder, little salt and cook without whistle on medium heat.

Healthy One Pot Meal

When the dal is half cooked, add raw banana (vazhakkai), pumpkin, brinjal, raw mango, pigeon peas, drumstick leaves, arai keerai, needed salt, tamarind + masala mix, washed rice and 3 cups of hot water.  (these vegetables and greens gets cooked faster, that is the reason we are adding it after the dal is half cooked, otherwise these vegetable will become mushy). Check for salt by tasting the water. If it is slightly salty, it will be perfect once the rice is cooked. 

Mix well and pressure cook for 2 whistles.

When the pressure subsides, open the cooker, add a tsp of ghee and mix well. Kootanchoru is ready.

Kootanchoru Recipe

Serve Kootanchoru with raita or appalam or chips or onion vadam. You can also fry 2-3 Vengaya vadagam and add to it.

Our Lunch that day 

Onion tomato pachadi 
Seasoned curd rice
Potato chips (not in the picture) -With Video

South Indian Lunch-Kootanchoru, curd rice and pachadi

Note - I have written water measurement as 4 cups in the video. It is Total 4 cups of water. One cup for dal and 3 cups for rice. My apologies for the mistake. Kindly note that water measurement changes according to the quality of rice, so add accordingly.

Do try this and share your feedback. I would love to hear from you, please feel free to share your feedback with photos to

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  1. I couldnt find When to add the rice.
    Also final sauting with generous gingelly aka thil oil aka nallennai adding vadagam and curry leaves gives a good aroma and taste. Traditional kootanchoru has no ghee but only nallennai I believe.

    Good try Padhus kitchen and thank u.

    1. Yes, traditional kootanchoru they add only gingelly oil in the end. I love the flavor of ghee,so added in the end.Watch the video or check the recipe, I have added rice after the dal is half cooked.

  2. Came out yummy. Made my dinner yummy and healthy.

  3. Hi.. I am a fanatix of ur page.... Your recepies are so very nice that I check everyday.... Why don't u try for an app that will be little more user friendly than a blog

  4. Hi exactly same recipe whch is prepared by mom. V r tirunelveli


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