Preparation: Wash the selected vegetable, dice evenly into small (about a cm square) slices. The more uniform the slices, the better they will cook. Slice the drumsticks, if using into equal length - about 4-5 cms long. The Peel needs to be removed from pumpkin, if using, while the other vegetables such as gourds or drumsticks do not need to be peeled. Wash the moong dal, check for any stones or grit and remove them.
Place a small cooking utensil on the stove, add a cup of water and begin heating it. Add the dal, sliced vegetables, turmeric, hing (asafoetida) and a pinch of salt. Shred a few curry leaves (one or two) and add.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the flame and cook the vegetables and dal on a low flame. Stir frequently as they may catch at the bottom of the vessel and burn or char.
After about 10- 12 minutes, the dal and vegetables would have cooked, the vegetables generally cooking faster than the dal. Drumsticks may take a little longer than the dal. If the water is used up before the dal and veggies are cooked, top up with a little water, about a tablespoon at a time. Using a whisk or a buttermilk churner (mathu), mash the dhal so that it blends with the cooked vegetables.
Add freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. Stir and remove from the stove so that the koottu does not continue to cook on the heat of the stove even when turned off.