Wednesday, March 25, 2009

VT's Vegetable Kootu

The most recent issue of Vegetarian Times magazine (March 2009) features South Indian recipes--including this delicious Mixed Vegetable Kootu.

I tweaked the amounts of cayenne pepper, vegetables, and oil--the recipe called for 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and I simply omitted it. It had plenty of coconut flavor already, from the coconut in the recipe. I followed VT's suggestion to substitute dried coconut soaked in hot water for the fresh coconut. I also substituted frozen cauliflower and green beans for fresh.

Here's the recipe as originally written, with my changes in red.

Mixed Vegetable Kootu

1 cup firmly packed cilantro leaves
1/2 cup fresh or frozen grated coconut (or dried coconut soaked in hot water for 15 minutes and then drained)
1/2 cup low-fat coconut milk
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 serrano chile, stemmed and seeded
1 T ground coriander
1 t cayenne pepper (I used only used 1/2 teaspoon)
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch diagonal slices
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds (I used 2 sweet potatoes)
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets (I used 1 16-oz bag of frozen cauliflower)
1/4 lb green beans (I used 2 cups of frozen green beans)
2 T coconut oil (I omitted this)
1 t mustard seeds
8 curry leaves, optional (I used 8 dried leaves--I buy fresh curry leaves and dry them in the
oven for future use)


1. Puree cilantro leaves, coconut, coconut milk, garlic, serrano chile, coriander, and cayenne pepper in food processor until mixture forms a smooth paste. Set aside.
2. Place carrots and sweet potatoes in large skillet and cover with 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook 2 minutes. Add green beans, cover, and cook 2 minutes more, or until vegetables are just tender (they will need to cook about 10 minutes if you are using frozen vegetables--read the directions on the package). Stir in cilantro-and-coconut paste, and season with salt and pepper if desired. Cover and keep warm.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil (or dry skillet) over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and cover. Cook 30 seconds, or until sizzling/popping subsides, then stir in curry leaves. Stir mustard seeds and curry leaves into vegetables. Serve hot or at room temperature. We ate them with papads.

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