Keerai Masiyal (Spinach Curry)

This recipe is so simple that even I can prepare it. It’s just spinach with some crunchy elements added in. It is one of the most popular dishes of Palakkad cuisine. I am sure it is also widely make in Thamizhnadu. There are several versions of this recipe. But the moment I use the term “Palakkad cuisine” it automatically means a Brahmin version. Necessarily, therefore, no onion or garlic. Of course there are several other versions with different ingredients except the basic spinach. And some of them do use onion and garlic. My recipe today with stick with the Palakkad version. It is a very tasty dish, so don’t let the simplicity fool you. It is a completely bland dish with minimal spices. Goes well with rice. So, you get all the goodness of a green leafy vegetable with taste and simplicity thrown in. Why not try it today?

Keerai Masiyal

2 bunches spinach (palak, keerai)
1/8 of a coconut, cut into bite sized pieces
1tsp turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
Unrefined salt to taste
1 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1 tbsp split black lentils (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
1 dried red chili, broken into two
Clean and wash the spinach
Chop fine
Heat a large wok and add the spinach, turmeric powder and salt
Cook on a low flame
Once the spinach has wilted well and there is very little or no moisture, remove from flame and mash well
Or you can run it through a blender briefly till you get a smooth paste (see pic)
Set aside
Heat a wok and add mustard seeds
When they begin to splutter, add the lentils and coconut pieces
Lastly add the red chili
Add this tempering to the mashed spinach
Set on flame and boil for a couple of minutes
Remove from flame and serve hot with steamed red/brown/millet rice

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