This morning, as I mentally ran through the options for dinner (what do I need to use up? How much time do I have to cook today?) I was absolutely sure I had a pumpkin lurking in the cupboard under the sink. Problem was, I forgot to check. So all day I had plans to make pumpkin kootu, but when I finally got home at 5.45 pm, there was no pumpkin to be found. :(. But I had all the other ingredients, and I had some sweet potatoes. Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, I switched plans and made sweet potato kootu instead. Non-traditional but it turned out very yummy.
200g lentils, soaked for at least a couple of hours in cold water ( I used a combination of whole red and black beluga lentils)
500 ml water
1 onion, diced
400 g sweet potato or pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
150 g mushrooms, sliced
1 fresh coconut, finely grated (I used the Thermomix to grate the coconut before starting the cooking; a food processor would work too. We had a coconut all peeled and ready to go, because the kids insisted on buying one last weekend – they just love hammering it open!)
1/2 tsp turmeric
pinch of chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Place the lentils in a saucepan or Thermomix bowl; add the water and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Add the onion, pumpkin/sweet potato, mushroom and all spices except for mustard seeds and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes (Thermomix 100 deg for 10-15 minutes, speed soft). Lentils and pumpkin should be really soft. Add more water if too thick – it should be like a thick soup. Stir in the coconut.
Heat a non-stick frying pan and toast the mustard seeds for 20 seconds, then stir into hot kootu. I served this with some steamed broccoli and spinach, over brown rice.
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