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Kale Carrot Kootu

September 8, 2008


If only carrot were spelt with a K, that would be such a nice alliteration! It has a nice ring to it too, don’t you think? I like trying out different types of greens that are available in my local farmers market, especially at this stand that has a lot of chinese greens. All greens are very nutritious and provide a lot of minerals and vitamins in very little calories. Because I love Indian flavors, many times, my first attempt at a recipe is to use a traditional recipe and see if the ingredient works. Most often than not, it DOES work. I think a lot of the South Indian recipes are so versatile that if you keep to the basics, any vegetable tastes great. On my last trip to the farmers market, I got a bunch of Kale. I’ve used Kale in soups and thought it would be a perfect candidate for Kootu. Here’s what I did..

What You Need

  • 1 Bunch of Curly Kale
  • 3-4 Carrots
  • ½ Cup of Tuar dal
  • ¼ Cup of Coconut flakes
  • 1 Green chilly
  • ½ Tsp of cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as needed

For Tempering

  • 1 Tsp of Oil
  • 3-4 Curry leaves
  • ½ Tsp of Turmeric
  • ½ Tsp of Mustard
  • ½ Tsp of Urad dal
  • ½ Tsp of Chana dal

How Its Done

1. Pressure cook the tuar dal.

2. Chop the Kale so the leaves are evenly sized (Get rid of the tough stems). Dice the carrots.

3. I steamed the Kale and Carrot in the microwave rice cooker (separately), but if you choose, you can boil them (as is done traditionally) after the tempering in Step 4, with a little water. 

4. Heat oil and add the mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, add the Urad dal and chana dal and the curry leaves; Toss in the steamed carrots and kale, add turmeric, the green chilly cut in half, a bit of water and let the flavors meld for about 2-3 minutes. 

5. Add the cooked tuar dal, coconut flakes, cumin powder and salt to taste and cook for 5-7 minutes till it all comes to a boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes after it comes to a boil and then take it off the heat.

The dish is mildly spiced and pairs well with a tangy rasam or vetha kuzhambu (a dish made with tamarind and spices that is usually served with rice). The recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make. The above recipe will work well with zucchini and squash as well- try it!

  1. Coincidentally I posted a kootu recipe just a few days back,mine is the regular one with bottle gourd though,loved that you used kale leaves in the kootu ,looks delicious 🙂

  2. Doesnt kale take a long time to cook? I’ve used it only once in a recipe, and although it was not bad, I wont say it was my most favouritestest vegetable! 🙂

  3. TT, haven’t tried eating Kale, thanks for the recipe will give this a try.

  4. Kale leaves-? have to know more about them, never heard or tried them before, seems like this is a great combo using carrots and greens.

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