Sweet potato leaves parippu kootu.

sweet potato leaves kootu

I distinctly remember as a novice asking mum, why she had to call the kootu by so many different names. Why is there pulikootu, parippukootu, Porichakootu, molagutal, kootukari, and so on and so forth? It was maddening to have these all confusing names. I am sure she tried to explain, but at that time, nothing made sense. I am sure I asked the same to my mother in law as she has added another 5 or 10 more to these varieties.
Years later, trying and testing recipes, feeding this brood of mine, I have come to the conclusion that these names are sensible. They tell you what exactly is the combination of dal or lentils, spices and vegetables in that curry. They pick out even the consistency it should be in.

Why all this now?

I successfully confused the teen who is to come up with some good combo to satisfy the dinner on the table need. Did I bother to explain? Not really. Told him the universal mothers super statement :
“You will learn”
So here we are with parippukootu. To put it in my world of understanding, here is the explanation.
All kootu have some form of dals and lentils in them. Mostly not visible as the ground masala takes over the consistency and they are mashed into a smooth mash. In parippukootu, the al dente cooked dal is visible. It can be felt to the bite. Often in this type of dal, a vegetable which is very soft is used, like green leaves or grated gourds. It is made in a semisolid consistency and served on the side with steamed rice and a bowl of rasam. 

sweet potato leaves

What is the vegetable of choice today?

I picked up a bunch of sweet potato leaves during the weekend. I learned to cook the sweet potato leaves when we were in the Philippines,  but mostly as a part of the soup. Now with much more confidence with my skills, It is appearing in Indian recipes too. The tender sweet potato leaves are really soft when gently steamed and a great addition to this recipe. Give this new addition a try and I promise you it has no bitter to taste. to the Indian palate, they taste a bit like palak. 

moong bean dal with greens

Here is a step by step of how we made this:

Before you scroll down to the details of the recipe, here is a sequence of how we cooked this. 

Since we are planning alphabet S for the A To Z recipe challenge, sweet potato leaves sound interesting, doesn’t it? It is indeed exciting to see what all leaves we can use safely and this experiment has paid off very well this year. Thanks to this challenge, I brought back the sweet potato leaves from the market. 

Recipe challenge
Keep safe, count your blessings, try out this nonspicy recipe with pineapple rasam, apple pickle and steamed rice and stay in touch. Don’t miss to subscribe to the blog or keep in touch with the social media portals. If you like to pin this for future use, here it is.

parippu kootu made with mungbeans

sweet potato leaves kootu

Sweetpotato leaves parippu kootu.

Easy, gluten-free, vegan, side dish for steamed rice
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Dish, sidedish, Traditional
Cuisine Autumn, diabetic friendly, Fusion, gluten free, Indian, Kids choice, Medicinal, South indian, Spring, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 4 people


To cook the dal.

  • 1/2 cup Moong dal deskinned and split green gram
  • 2 cups drinking water

for the greens

  • 2 bunches sweet potato leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder

for the gravy mix

  • 2 tbsp roasted chickpea porikadalai, pottukadalai
  • 3 - 4 tbsp grated coconut
  • 1 small dry red chillies
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds

for the tempering.

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2-3 dry red chillies
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 cloves garlic ( crushed)
  • 5-6 curry leaves


  • Wash the mung beans and set aside.
  • Wash clean and chop the tender sweet potato leaves.
  • In a small cooking pot bring the two cups of water to a boil and add the mung beans.
  • Stir occasionally and let the mung beans cook.
  • When they are nearly ready they will hold shape but will crush when squished between your fingers. At this time add the prepared sweet potato leaves, salt, turmeric and roasted cumin powder. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • While it is cooking assemble the ingredients for the gravy and bring them to a fine powder or, add a few tbsp of water and grind them smooth.
  • Add this to the cooking dal, leaf mix and simmer with stirring for a 5 - 10 minutes.
  • In a small pan heat the coconut oil.
  • Add the mustard seeds and when they splutter add the cumin, red chillies, crushed garlic (optional) and curry leaves.
  • Allow this to roast and add this mix to the simmering kootu.
  • Remove from heat and the kootu is ready to serve.


Meal prep this recipe:
It is easy to make double quantities of this recipe and save a portion for later. The recipe will stay well in the refrigerator for 2 days in a sealed container. It can be frozen for up to 3 months in well-sealed containers. To use, defrost in a microwave oven and enjoy immediately. Do not refreeze the remaining portions.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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The Girl Next Door
3 years ago

Oh wow! I’ve never had a chance to try out sweet potato greens! The Kootu looks absolutely delicious. Would love to dig in with some steamed rice and ghee. 🙂

3 years ago

Very interesting recipe with sweet potato leaves.. never tried cooking with these greens.. This lentil stew must be so flavourful with all the aromatic spices going in it.. Wonderful share.

Niranjana Sankaranarayanan
3 years ago

Never made kootu with sweet potato leaves. Now if I come across it definitely I would love to try my hands on this recipe. Like you even I was confused with so many varieties of kootu before I started making myself.

Shobha Keshwani
3 years ago

Interesting, I have never seen or tasted the sweet potato leaves. Lootu is my favourite and I must try to get these greens to try it out .

Mayuri Patel
3 years ago

I know that the locals especially in the rural areas use sweet potato leaves to add to the stew they make. However, have never tried using them myself. Your sweet potato leaves parippu kootu looks so tempting. Will have to try and source some leaves to try this recipe out.

Rafeeda - The Big Sweet Tooth
3 years ago

Haha… we had the exact same confusion while having a feast from Priya Srinivasan’s home. Everything had dal but everything was different! That is so interesting to use sweet potato greens in to that dal, I would have surely loved it with some rice!

3 years ago

Wonderful recipe! I would have never ever though of cooking with sweet potato leaves. That’s a great addition to the pantry and another green to boot!

Vidya Narayan
3 years ago

Kootu of all kinds and in all forms are welcome with open arms at our home. One pot wholesome and nutritious meal indeed.

3 years ago

loving all types of Kootu 🙂 this is so delicious Seema.. one small sweet potato has begin to sprout in my tiny balcony garden,.. am hoping it would yield some leaves enough for the kootu..

Poonam Bachhav
3 years ago

Kottu recipe with sweet potato greens sounds interesting ! Never had a chance to try my hands on sweet potato greens.

3 years ago

Kootu with sweet potato greens sounds interesting. Never knew these greens are edible! Would definitely love to try this recipe when I find them.

3 years ago

That’s really lovely recipe with sweet potato leaves, I have never used it till yet, would love to try If I get these leaves in Bangalore. Moong dal lentil with these greens must be so flavorful, i’ve tasted with spinach. Wonderful share.

3 years ago

I have never heard about sweet potato leaves. Also never tried kootu. Will love to try when i found these greens. The kootu looks so delicious.

3 years ago

That is interesting ingredient you have used for S and I have never seen or heard about sweet potato leaves. We all love keerai kootu and it appears in our menu at least once a week. I am sure this must be so delicious and nutritious

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