Ponnangani Keerai Thogayal (Dwarf Copperleaf, Garundi Chutney)

I had recently made a Sri Lankan dish using dwarf copperleaf. The result was outstanding. I still had a bunch of the greens left. Rather than making the usual South Indian dishes using greens, such as poriyal (stir fry), masiyal (mash) or kootu (wet dish), I decided to try something different. I had recently made a thogayal (thick chutney) using black nightshade. The result was outstanding. I therefore decided to make a thogayal using this green. Thogayals are normally made with either coconut or lentils as the main ingredient. And I love my thogayals. But this one is, by far, the best that I have tasted.

Dwarf Copperleaf (Ponnangani Keerai, Garundi)

1 bunch dwarf copperleaf (pluck the leaves and tender stems and wash thoroughly)
1 tbsp Bengal gram (chana dal, kadalai parupu)
1 tbsp split black lentils (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
5 shallots (or 1 big onion, roughly chopped)
2 green chillies
4 dried red chillies (adjust according to taste)
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
A marble sized ball of tamarind
2 tbsp grated coconut (optional)
Salt to taste
For The Seasoning
1/4 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1/4 tsp split black lentils
1 sprig curry leaves
Clean the dwarf copperleaf and set aside
Heat a wok and add the Bengal gram and split black lentils
Roast till golden brown
Add the shallots (or onion) and saute
Add the green and dried red chillies
Add the garlic
Saute well
Add the greens and continue to saute till they have wilted
Add the curry leaves and continue to saute for a minute
Add the tamarind
Sprinkle a little water and cook the greens well
Turn flame off and add the grated coconut and salt
Mix well and cool completely
Transfer to a blender
Grind to a smooth paste
Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside
Heat a wok and add mustard seeds
When they begin to splutter, add the black lentils and curry leaves
Roast till the lentils turn light brown
Remove from flame and add to the ground chutney
Serve at room temperature with steamed red/brown rice or even idli, dosa…

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