South Indian Lentil Kootu Recipe -
South Indian Lentil Kootu Recipe
  • READY IN 55 mins

South Indian Lentil Kootu

Recipe by  

"A very South Indian dish that is quick to make and easy on the stomach."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    25 mins
  • COOK

    30 mins

    55 mins


  1. Bring the red lentils, pigeon peas, split yellow peas, and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the peas are tender, about 30 minutes. Add more water if needed to keep them from drying out.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the mustard seeds, and cook until they begin to sputter and pop, about 2 minutes. Stir in the curry leaves until wilted, then add the carrot, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, peas, turmeric, red pepper flakes, and salt. Cook and stir until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked peas and coconut to serve.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Nov 06, 2009

Replaced curry leaves with 1.5 teaspoons of curry powder. Yummy!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Aug 21, 2012

I'm Indian and HADto jump in when curry leaves are replaced with curry powder. That's like substituting creole seasoning for sage leaves in a brown butter sauce! The only thing common between curry powder and curry leaves is that first word. Curry leaves serves the purpose of an aromatic. When fried in oil, you will notice they crisp up, not wilt. If you can't find curry leaves, it is best to just skip that ingredient or substitute it with cilantro. Please, not curry powder!!


10 Ratings

Feb 24, 2009

This was really good! My husband is a fan of Indian food so I thought I'd give it a try. I was skeptial since I have yet to find a way to like any kind of lentil. Well, it looks beautiful and it tastes great and it was easy to prepare - even for a newbie like me.

Mar 04, 2010

i used brown lentils in place of pigeon peas, and 1.5 tsp curry powder in place of curry leaves, and 1 tbsp sambal in place of red pepper flakes, and 1 full tsp salt - i didn't have fresh coconut so i just poured in about 1/4 cup the fat from coconut milk - everything else i left the same. I did have to add extra water during cooking - 2 cups was just not enough - it simmered out too quickly. anyways, it was good - better than expected and we served it with cornmeal and poppyseed roti from veganomican cookbook - very delcious combo. it's very filling - although not something i'd want to eat all the time - lentils have a very distinct flavor and they are not my favorite but i try to eat them now and again b/c they are good for you and when you choose the vegetarian lifestyle it's nice to try something different once in a while. I have a lot of leftovers and i think i'll make it into soup - i'll add some vegetable broth and chopped tomatoes - and we will use up the rest of the roti as dipping bread then.

Oct 29, 2011

Tried it the first time with curry leaves I found at local Indian store and it was OUTSTANDING, curry powder is totally dikfferent and not made with curry leaves

Oct 16, 2011

I have no experience with Indian food, thought this looked like an easy first try. It definitely needed more water, closer to four cups. I also made a few changes: Added a cup of vegetable broth in place of water; 1 tsp. mustard powder in place of mustard seed; 2.5 tsp. curry powder in place of curry leaves; 1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes was plenty warm for our family; doubled the carrots and peas; coconut milk fat instead of fresh coconut. Even with all of these "americanizations" the result was delicious, and very filling served with flat bread. Will definitely be repeating this one!


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  • Calories
  • 315 kcal
  • 16%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 42.5 g
  • 14%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 9.9 g
  • 15%
  • Fiber
  • 10.7 g
  • 43%
  • Protein
  • 16.2 g
  • 32%
  • Sodium
  • 129 mg
  • 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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