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Recipe of ‘Poosanikai Mor Kootu’ made with Ash-Gourd, Coconut and Yogurt – a Family Recipe From Tamil Nadu, by Preethi Venkatram

Saturday is here and we have another exciting family recipe all the way from Tamil Nadu! Contributed by Preethi Venkatram, our dish of the day is called Poosanikai Mor Kootu or Ash gourd, coconut and yoghurt curry. Preethi discovered her talent for cooking when she shifted to North Carolina, USA. She started her blog ‘cookingwithpree’. A mother to 2 kids, she hopes that one day she can pass it on to her children just as her mother and aunt passed on their recipe books to her.

Her blog focuses on simple and easy vegetarian recipes with vegan options. She has a knack for experimenting with different cuisines while keeping them healthy. Pree says, “I don’t believe in cooking separately for kids and adults, so all my recipes will be kid-friendly, with no compromise on taste for the adults as well.” 

rootsandleisure-recipe-Poosanikai Mor Kootu

Poosanikai Mor Kootu

Mor Kootu has always been one of Pree’s favourite yoghurt-based recipes from the Tambram cuisine. Her mother paired it with a spicy Vathal Kuzhambu and rice and used white pumpkins as the main ingredient. The plus point about this curry is how easy it is to make and how it’s usually ready in under 30 minutes. Also, you do not need a whole bunch of ingredients to make this recipe, unlike most traditional Indian curries. Pree says, “I  love the simplicity of this recipe and it goes to prove that you don’t need a whole lot of ingredients for a delicious dish.


  • (Serves: 3, Total cook time: 25 min)
  • 3 cups white pumpkin/ ash gourd cubed in somewhat big chunks
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 tbsp rice flour
  • 1 cup yoghurt/curd (preferably slightly tangy yoghurt)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut
  • 2-3 green chillies or as per taste
Spices for the temper:
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp urad dhal
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Pair this dish with a spicy one to get a perfect balance!

Poosanikai Mor Kootu served with rice and spicy bindhi fry

Instructions to cook: 
  1. Use 1/4 cup water to boil the cubed white pumpkin with chana dhal until the vegetable is cooked well and becomes soft. (Do not add too much water during the boiling process because the pumpkin gives out water too. We don’t want the dish to turn out to be watery). The chana dal is supposed to have a little bit of a bite to it. It helps gives the dish some texture.
  2. Next, grind the coconut, cumin and green chillies with a little water and make a paste.
  3. Now, mix the ground mixture, rice flour and curd together in a bowl.
  4. Add the above mixture and the required amount of salt to the boiled veggies and chana dhal, then let it boil for 3-5 minutes on low to medium flame.
  5. Lastly, to temper the dish, heat the coconut oil and when it becomes hot, add mustard seeds, curry leaves and urad dhal. Let the mustard seeds pop, then continue to add the tempering to the Kootu and mix.  The Kootu is now ready to be served!
Recipe Notes:

If the yoghurt you add is very watery – like buttermilk, reduce the amount of water you add in the recipe, so that you don’t end up with a runny curry. Remember the ash gourd will also release some water while it gets cooked.

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