Kootu, Sides

Arichivitta Kootu ~ Veggies in spiced lentil gravy


Kootu (Tamil = coming together) is a Tamilnadu dish with main ingredients being vegetables and dal (lentils) and therefore rich in proteins and vitamins. Of course, there is the faux pas of even Thovve (just dal + vegtables) being called Kootu. As S says, if its not sambhar or rasam, it has to be Kootu. Earlier on, I used to address to correct this issue, but now let it pass – after all, what is palatable is what counts, nomenclature be shifted to the back burner.

Today’s dish, Arichivitta Kottu is a staple dish that goes well with Rice or chapatis alike. Any vegetable can be added to this (barring of course, Lady’s finger /brinjal etc), this medley of vegetables can be had in the Kurma form (with onions / garlic / ginger) or today’s dish with more saatvic ingredients of black pepper, Urad dal and cumin freshly ground.

Over to today’s dish:

Prep time : 10 mins. Cooking time : 20 mins. Serves: 4


  • Veggies – Carrots / Cauliflower/French beans  – finely chopped – 2 cups
  • Moong Dal / Toor Dal – 1 handful (1/2 cup)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Turmeric – 1/2 tsp

For tempering :

  • Oil – 1 tsp, Mustard seeds-  1 Tsp, Curry leaves – few, Peanuts (handful)- Optional

Spicy Masala (for grinding):

  • Urad dal / Split black gram – 1 TBSP
  • Jeera / Cumin – 1/2 TBSP
  • Black Pepper – 1/4 TBSP
  • Dhania / Dry coriander seeds – 1/4 TBSp (opt)
  • Red chillies – 2 or 3
  • Hing / Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp
  • Freshly Grated coconut – 2 TBSP


1) Wash and par boil all veggies in a pan of water with a pinch of salt till 3/4 cooked but not mushy.

2) Pressure cook the dal with little water and a pinch of turmeric till done. Cool

3) In a pan, add 1 tsp of oil and gently fry all ingredients of masala (excluding coconut) one by one till Urad dal is browned and other ingredients leave out a gentle nice aroma. Grind with coconut to a smooth paste.

4) In a deep bottomed pan, prepare the tempering. Add the boiled dal, ground spice mixture, salt, and the veggies and let it simmer covered on a gentle boil for 3 – 6 mins.

5) Uncover, transfer to dish and serve hot with Rice or Rotis. Tastes yum even with curd rice !:)


1) You may add any medley of vegetables to this curry. I have even added a handful of boiled jackfruit seeds and 1 chopped potato to enhance the taste.




  1. Yeh its flavourful and delicious

  2. Priya Sreeram

    loved ur recipe kalyani and nice looking dish and yes like you say rose by any other name is a rose !

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