Recipes: Parangikkai aka Yellow Pumpkin Kootu

This is another kootu I love eating and until today I had been unable to replicate how my mum makes it. I’ve tried making this earlier but always felt that there was something missing. Then at the end of last year, when my parents came to Singapore, my mum made this one day. I did see how she made it but forgot to take notes. Then on Labour Day when I wanted to finally make it, I needed to get her to take me through the steps. I’ve seen various recipes on the internet, but none seems to be like how my mum makes it. So this may be a family recipe and I for one am glad I managed to take it down for posterity.

Parangikkai (Yellow/Orange Pumpkin) Kootu


  • 2 cups yellow/orange pumpkin, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup boiled toor dal
  • 1/2 cup + 2-3 tbsp fresh or frozen grated coconut
  • 6-7 dried red chillies
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ghee or oil
  • 2-3 tsps jaggery or sugar (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  • In a pan, heat the ghee or oil and when it warms, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, add the urad dal and let it brown slightly. Then add 2-3 dried red chillies, after breaking them and the asafoetida powder and finally the 2-3 tbsp coconut and stir well.
  • Keep stirring this coconut mixture till the moisture completely leaves the coconut, and you should get a nice brown and crisp coconut mixture. Remove from pan and keep aside and let it cool.
  • In the same pan, put in the chopped pumpkin and with very little water (just enough to cover and cook the pumpkins), jaggery and salt to taste and cook it till it gets cooked and starts to lose its shape.
  • In the meantime, in a blender, make a paste of the remaining coconut, the remaining dried red chillies and cumin seeds. The paste should be a smooth one, so add water as needed.
  • Make sure the cooked toor dal is completely smooth. If you don’t have a smooth paste like dal, use a hand-held blender to blend it to get the consistency you need.
  • When the pumpkin is cooked, add the dal and the coconut paste and water if needed to bring it to the thickness you desire. Check for seasoning at this point also.
  • When the kootu is completely cooked and the dal and coconut paste mixed in thoroughly, switch off the gas and add the toasted coconut. Mix well and serve.
  • This goes very well with a traditional South Indian meal or if it’s slightly watery, you can also have it with rotis or other Indian flatbreads.


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