Sorakaya Kootu – Bottle gourd lentil stew

Kootu is a popular South Indian lentil based vegetable stew that is thick in texture. Kootus usually comprise of lentils (channa dal/moong dal) and vegetables like bottle gourd, potatoes, plantains, brinjals, cabbage, carrots and beans that are cooked in a blend of fresh coconut and green chillis. There are many variations to the kootu in terms of preparation where the blends include either tamarind or coconut or sour buttermilk.

Sorakai kootu is prepared with bengal gram dal and bottle gourd which are simmered in a blend of fresh coconut, green chillis and cumin seeds which brings a warm flavor to the earthy dal. Further, the tempering of mustard seeds, fresh curry leaves, redolent with the exotic aroma of asafoetida, adds another dimension to the flavor of the simmering kootu. Sorakaaya kootu is a simple to execute, nutritious and full of flavor that goes well with rice or rotis.

Sorakai Kootu

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 2

 Main Ingredients:

  •  bottle gourd


  •   1 small cup sengapappu/bengal gram/channa dal, washed and soaked in water for 1/2 hr
  •   1 1/2 cup sorakaya/bottlegourd, peeled and cubed
  •   1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
  •   salt to taste
  • Make a paste:

  •   1 small cup grated coconut
  •   3-4 green chillis (adjust)
  •   1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • For seasoning/poppu/tadka:

  •   1 tsp mustard seeds
  •   1 tbsp split black gram dal (urad dal/minapappu)
  •   1-2 dry red chillis
  •   1 tsp grated coconut (optional)
  •   big pinch asafoetida/inguva/hing
  •   few fresh curry leaves
  •   2 tsps oil

Method for making Sorakai Kootu

Pressure cook channa dal, bottle gourd cubes, half cup of water and turmeric pwd upto two whistles. The dal and bottle gourd should be just cooked and not become too mushy.
Add the coconut paste and salt to the cooked dal-bottle gourd mix and combine well. Cook on medium flame for 12-15 mts. The texture should be thick and not watery.
In a pan, add oil, add mustard seeds and let them pop, add urad dal and let it turn red. Add curry leaves and dry red chillis, followed by asafoetida and stir fry for a few seconds. Add the grated coconut and stir fry for 4-5 secs.
Add the tempering to the dal mixture and combine. Turn off heat and place lid and leave covered for a few mts.
Serve with hot rice.


27 thoughts on “Sorakaya Kootu – Bottle gourd lentil stew

  1. Madam,

    I’m a 46 yrs male(boast myself as an expert cook)find this recipe very simple, but the photograhs shown on the site force me to try all of your recipes, including this one. Thank you for your time & efforts to bring out them.

  2. there is a speck on the edge of the bowl in your beautiful pic and i want to shake that off with my finger ๐Ÿ˜€

    nice recipe, slightly different from how i make it!

  3. H Sailu,
    We make doodhi with chana dal also, but with onion tomato and ginger garlic and masalas. Never tried it with coconut though.

  4. Hi Sailu….i made this yesterday…..Its a taste i have never tasted before….me and my husband loved it….thank you for the recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. i tried this recipe today.It came out well.I made it with coconut powder and no green chillies.Next time i will try it with fresh coconut paste.Thanks for sharing.

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