Kootus are a mix of vegetables and pulses cooked together and accented with coconut and other spices.
Raw Banana Stem Kootu Recipe
4 -6 servings
1 lb (500 grams) raw banana stem
2 cups buttermilk
¼ cup moong dal
½ cup water
1 coconut or 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
3 dried red chilies (goondu milagai or cascabels)+
2 teaspoon cumin seeds (divided – 1 teaspoon and then ½ teaspoon)
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
6 fresh curry leaves
2 teaspoons chana dal
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 Tablespoons garlic paste
1 Tablespoon minced ginger
1 Tablespoons green chili paste
1 diced shallot
Salt to taste
1 Tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves
2 teaspoons ghee
Cut the rings and outer stalk off the banana stem, cut it in rounds, cut each round into strips and dice the strips into cubes. Place the cubes in the buttermilk so they don’t discolour. Set aside.
Place the moong dal and water in a saucepan with a pinch of turmeric and cook until soft about 15 minutes. Set aside.
Remove the coconut flesh from the shell, if using fresh coconut, and grind it in a food processor (or use the 1 cup of dried coconut) with the dried red chillies and first teaspoon of cumin seeds. Set aside.
Heat the coconut oil in a kadai (wok) and add the mustard seeds. After they pop and splutter, add the curry leaves, chana dal, and cumin seeds. After about 5 seconds add the garlic paste. Stir about 30 seconds then add the minced ginger and green chili paste and stir to mix well.
Add the diced shallot and tomato and cook until soft.
Strain the banana stem from the buttermilk and add it to the wok along with enough water to cover the ingredients in the kadai, cover with a lid and boil for about 10 minutes or until the banana stem is soft.
Add the cooked moong dal and coconut paste.
Season with salt to taste.