Instant Pot Kootu – A Nutritious, Protein-rich South Indian curry made using Moong Dal and Vegetables. The curry is then thickened with a coconut paste. This Kootu is a wonderful accompaniment for Rice / Rotis.
What is Kootu
Kootu is a lentil and vegetable curry which is popular in South Indian Cuisine. Kootu mainly gets its flavour from the coconut paste. For making kootu, toor dal , yellow moong dal or chana dal can be used. However, yellow moong dal is used in most homes to make the everyday kootu variety.
Kootu is a perfect accompaniment for Rice/Rotis. Just drizzle some sesame oil or ghee on the rice and have it along with Kootu. Bliss!
However, I love having kootu without any accompaniment. Just like soup. Tastes so good! It’s healthy & filling that you actually don’t need a side for it. The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity. It requires just a handful of ingredients.
Comfort Food at its best!
No South Indian Meal is complete without a delicious kootu. That is because kootu screams COMFORT FOOD. I have grown up eating this dish almost thrice a week. On most days, we had a full-fledged South Indian meal and totally loved it. Sambar or some Kuzhambu, Rasam, Kootu, Kari was always a part of this meal. My mom is a working woman. When I look back, I am pleasantly surprised as to how efficiently she managed her time. Today, when most of us are struggling to put together a simple meal, she made sure we always had a wholesome spread throughout the week. I am sure many of you can relate this to your childhood.
Coming to the kootu recipe, just like other recipes, each family has its own way of preparing kootu. Some add onion, garlic, Some do not add the coconut paste. Some add a different variety of spices along with the coconut. It depends on the taste and tradition of the family. The one I am sharing here is a version that my mom taught me and the one recipe that I have enjoyed eating all through these years.
Instant Pot Kootu
We all know how Instant Pot has made our cooking easier. The time spent in the kitchen has drastically reduced, thanks to Instant Pot. Initially, I was a little apprehensive to try this recipe in Instant Pot. I had my own doubts if dal would cook well or if the vegetables would get mushy. When I tried it for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised with the result. The dal was perfectly cooked and the vegetables were done well but retained their shape. Just the way I wanted. So, I am sharing the version that worked best for me.
Why do I love Kootu
My go-to recipe on days I feel homesick – This kootu with vathakuzhambu instantly transports me to Chennai 😀
Hearty, Nutritious & Filling – Vegetables & Dal complete this dish.
Done under 30 minutes– Requires minimum efforts and Perfect for a busy / lazy day
Can be a meal by itself – Trust me. Try eating this straight out of the bowl. You will love it.
Any vegetable can be hidden in this kootu– Perfect for kids or adults who fuss to have vegetables.
No fancy ingredients required – Just the regualar ones in your pantry are more than enough.
Ingredients for this delicious Instant Pot Kootu
Mixed Vegetables – I am using Chayote, Cabbage & Carrot in this recipe
Dal – The one I am using here is, Split Yellow Moong Dal
Coconut Paste – Mildly spiced Paste made using coconut, red chillies and cumin seeds
For Tempering – Oil/Ghee for tempering and some Mustard Seeds, Asafoetida, Curry Leaves. Though Sesame Oil is good to eat along with rice, I prefer coconut oil to make the kootu.
Other Ingredients – Salt, Turmeric Powder
Step By Step Instructions for Instant Pot Kootu
First, soak the split moong dal for 30 minutes. I always prefer soaking my dal. Each time I buy a different brand and each brand cooks differently. Some dals don’t get cooked even after a lot of pressure cook time. So, I always soak it well in advance so that it gets perfectly done in less time.
Next, grind the coconut paste. For this paste, we need grated coconut, red chillies and cumin seeds. Make a smooth paste by adding little water or as needed. Keep it aside.
Peel the skin of Chayote , Carrot & Chop the vegetables into medium size pieces and keep them ready. Here, I have used cabbage, Carrot & Chayote. I don’t like the vegetables getting completely mashed. The vegetable must retain its shape at the end of the cooking process. At the same time, it should be cooked well. So I don’t chop it too big or too small. I keep the size medium.
Next, Switch on the Instant Pot. Keep it on Saute mode. Add coconut oil. Once hot, add mustard seeds, asafoetida & curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add the chopped vegetables. I have used cabbage, carrot and chayote in this recipe. You can use any one of these vegetables or any other vegetable of your choice. Saute for a brief period. Add turmeric powder and salt. Just mix it together.
Now, add the soaked & drained dal. Mix everything together and add the required amount of water. Switch off the Saute Mode. Pressure Cook for 6 minutes. Release pressure manually after 10 minutes. Switch on the Saute Mode. Add the coconut paste. Adjust salt if needed. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Switch off. Serve hot.
Since I had a few vegetables in hand I used them up in this recipe. But, kootu can be prepared with just one vegetable.
The other vegetables that can be used in this kootu are Spinach, Broad Beans, Cluster beans, Zucchini, Bok Choy , Cucumber, Snake Gourd, Ride Gourd.
I love eating Kootu straight out of the bowl. But, kootu tastes best with rice and a dollop of ghee/sesame oil. I personally enjoy eating Kootu with Vatha Kuzhambu or Paruppu Podi mixed with rice. Kootu can also be had with Rotis.
Other South Indian Recipes that you may love
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Instant Pot Kootu | Mixed Vegetables Kootu Recipe
- 3 cups Mixed Vegetables I used Carrots, Cabbage, Chayote
- 1/2 cup Split Yellow Moong Dal
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 cups Water
- 1/2 cup Grated Coconut
- 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 4 Red Chillies
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- Asafoetida a pinch
- Curry Leaves few
- Wash and soak the dal in enough water for 30 minutes. This is optional but I prefer this method to cook my dal well.
- Make a fine paste using the ingredients under " To Grind" along with little water.
- Peel the skin of Chayote & Carrot. Chop the vegetables into medium size pieces and keep it ready.
- Switch on the saute mode in your Instant Pot. When it becomes hot, add ingredients under "To temper". Once mustard splutters, add the vegetables. Saute for a minute. Add salt and turmeric powder. Mix well.
- Next, add the soaked and drained dal. Saute for a minute. Add water. Check for salt. Switch off the saute mode.
- Close the lid of the Instant Pot. Pressure Cook for 6 minutes.
- Manually release pressure after 10 minutes.
- Keep on Saute mode. Add the ground paste. Mix well. Check for salt and consistency. If you want it more thicker, leave it on saute mode for few minutes. If you want it runny, add a little hot water and cook for few minutes.