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.


  • Happy Cook

    Yumm i would love to have it with rice.

  • Aparna

    We make this kootu exactly like this but more often with ash gourd and snake gourd. Love this.

  • shilpa

    I think this dish comes under “comfort food”. Looks great Sailu.

  • girijan


    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.

  • Kalai

    We make this almost the same way, Sailu. Kootu is always welcome anytime! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Nags

    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!

  • shalini

    Hi sailu,
    i tried this with chayote squash and it turned out delicious.

  • Mythreyee

    I have tried it with chayote. I should try with bottle gourd. Thanks for the recipe.

  • kalva

    Love the touch of coconut in this wonderful curry.. will make it soon!!

  • vimmi

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

  • mandira

    Sailu, looks delicious. Aswin prepares a version of this and I completely agree with you on the taste. Fantastic!

  • Uma

    Looks so yummy as usual. Very nice pics. My fav. kind of pappu.

  • Purnima

    Sailu, I need not say any further, I have a bottlegourd, I m trying this out tonight! tks for sharing!

  • AnuSriram

    GR8 recipe… Bet its going to taste awesome…

  • jaya

    it seems so tasty …
    with easy description of Kootus ,thanks for sharing
    hugs and smiles

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  • Jahnavi

    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™‚

  • Purnima

    Sailu, I tried this dish and it tasted awesome! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Ramki

    Hi Sailu,

    I’ve blogged your Bottlegourd kootu as a model recipe in the 1001 South Indian curry cookbook at

    /Thanks for the detailed recipe


  • hema

    I have tried this kootu ,tastes real good. Thank You.

  • vijaya

    this is same as what my grandmother prepare.

  • sree

    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.

  • rani

    Hi Sailu,
    Nice recipe. Do we add salt in this or not.

    Thank you

  • Sirisha

    Great Dish! The vegetarians in my family loved it when I made it for them.

  • Subha

    I have tried this kootu ,it tastes real good & everyone liked it.
    Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

  • Divya

    I have tried this recipe today and it is awesome. Thanks for a very simple and easy recipe.

  • Sahana

    Tried it and it tastes delicious!!! Thanks for all the wonderful recipies!!