Parangikkai Karamani Kootu – Butternut Squash and Lentil Curry
Butternut Squash is a type of winter squash which is pear shaped, has a yellow skin and an orange flesh inside. It has a sweet and nutty taste. It contains many important nutrients such as vitamin A and C, potassium, fibre, iron and magnesium. Since it has a sweeter taste, generally many of us don’t use this vegetable often in Indian recipes. But when it is not ripe it is not that sweet and can be used in making Sambar (Lentil Soup) and Kootu (South Indian Curry) or other dishes. It has a thick skin and it is generally peeled, stalks and seeds are removed before cooking. Their seeds are edible and contains oil and protein. You can serve them toasted as a healthy snack. Coming to Azuki beans (karamani or red chori), it is a good source of protein, iron, magnesium, pottasium and folic acid.
You may think this is an odd combination (butternut squash and Azuki beans) but believe me this is a good way to incorporate nutritious vegetables and lentils in our diet. At first, I thought the dish may be a little sweeter which I generally don’t prefer when it comes to curries or kootu. But the spices totally reduced the sweetness and it was just like the regular spicy curry. My husband (GS) and I just loved it and I will make sure to include this vegetable in my cooking often. Enjoy this nutritious dish with rice or roti or dosa/idli.
- One Butternut Squash (peeled and cut into small cubes, about 3 1/2 to 4 cups)
- Azuki beans or Karamani or red chori or cow peas – 1 cup
- Toor dal (lentils) – 1/4 cup
- Moong dal (lentils) – 3 tbsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Masala for grinding:
- Oil – 1 tsp
- Long dried red chilies – 8
- Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
- Channa dal – 2 tbsp
- Urad dal – 1 tsp
- A big pinch of asafoetida
- Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Shredded coconut – 1/4 cup
- Cilantro for garnishing
- Oil – 1 tsp
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Split urad dal – 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- A few curry leaves
- Dried red chili – 1
- A pinch of asafoetida
Method of Preparation:
- Pressure cook cubed butternut squash, lentils and azuki beans separately. You can use a 3 tier cooker container to finish the job at once. About 2 to 3 whistles in Indian pressure cooker.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and add asafoetida, red chilies, channa dal, urad dal, fenugreekseeds anf fry till the lentils are golden brown.
- Add coconut and turn off heat. Toss for a few seconds and let it cool.
- Grind it to a paste with little water.
- Once the squash and lentils are cooked, mix the ground paste with lentils and transfer everything to a sauce pan along with azuki beans (karamani) and required amount of salt. Add water if required and bring it to a boil. Turn off the stove. Kootu is ready.
- For tempering: Heat a tsp of oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds. When it splutter add urad dal, cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and red chili. Add this to the kootu and mix well.
- Serve hot with rice or idli or dosa.