Bachelor-friendly, Dals/OzhichuKootaan/Saaru, Everyday Simple Recipes, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, South Indian, Vegan

Keerai Mashiyal – Mashed Greens with Lentils

It is recommended that we use greens daily in our diet. Indians have various recipes to use locally available greens. One of the local recipe around the regions in Tamil Nadu and parts of Kerala mainly dominated by the Tamil community is a preparation called mashiyal, which literally means mashed. Keerai mashiyal is nothing but mashed greens. You may puree the greens or decide to just cook them, add lentils along with them mashed greens, and choose your own favorite kind of seasoning for the mashed greens. The mashiyals that traditional Tamil Iyer community makes does not use shallots/onions. You may use your discretion to add or skip shallots. Lentils is a good way to add volume as well as protein in your mashiyal but this is optional too.

Ingredients:
Spinach/amaranth leaves/cheera/keerai/palak – 3 tightly packed cups
Tur dal/split yellow mung dal – 1/2 cup
Water – 2 cups
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Green chilies – 1 or 2
Pearl onions/Shallots – 7-8
Dried red chilies – 2
Urad Dal – 1 tsp (optional)

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins (20 mins pressure cooking time)
Makes 4 cups

Method:
If you are adding lentils, rinse the dal thoroughly, add a cup of water, and cook it well. Mash and keep aside.

Wash, clean, and chop the spinach. Keep aside.
Peel the pearl onions/shallots and chop them finely. Chop green chilies finely. Keep aside.

In a wok, add oil and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the urad dal. Roast the dal until they turn red and add the dry red chilies.
Add the finely chopped shallots and green chilies. Saute until shallots turn pink.
Add the finely chopped spinach, along with quarter cup of water, and a pinch of turmeric powder. Cover and let this cook until the greens get cooked, stirring occasionally. Add the required amount of salt.
When the greens are cooked well, add the mashed dal. Taste and adjust the salt.
Turn off the fire.
Serve with rice or roti.

Notes: If you do not have shallots, you may use red onions but the taste does vary slightly. Red onions are slightly sweet whereas shallots are spicy.
You may avoid onions/shallots and choose to add just a seasoning of oil, mustard seeds, urad dal, and dry red chilies.

Dals/OzhichuKootaan/Saaru, Everyday Simple Recipes, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, South Indian, Vegan

Cheera Moloshyam (Spinach Dal Curry)

A healthy and tasty spinach/amaranth leaves and dal combo that tastes good with rice. Does not have too many spices, a simple, no-frills curry. I make this often as it is easy. It is a dish you can cook when you are not in a mood to make side dishes. This serves as a sumptuous dish and goes well with rice and chappathi. Also called molagoottal in Tamil, this is a dish Palakkad Iyers make often.

Cheera moloshyam

chopped amaranth leavesIngredients:
Spinach/amaranth leaves/cheera/keerai/palak – 3 tightly packed cups
Tur dal/split yellow mung dal – 3/4 cup
Water – 2 cups
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

ingredientsTo grind:
Grated coconut – one cup
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Dry red chillies – 3 or 4
Shallots* – 1

Alternatives:
Shallots is an optional ingredient. You may use any green leafy vegetable available in the Indian market to make this dish.

Method:
Clean the dal, add water, and pressure cook. Mash and keep aside.

In a wok, add few drops of oil and add urad dal. Roast the dal and then add the dry red chillies. Turn off the fire and keep aside.

Wash, clean, and chop the spinach. In a wok, cook the spinach with water and some turmeric powder.

Close with a lid while cooking. This will ensure that the nutrients are not lost while cooking. Cook in medium fire for not more than 5 mins. When the spinach is cooked, add the mashed dal into the spinach, mix well, and cook for 2 mins.

In a mixer, grind the grated coconut, cumin seeds, shallots, and the roasted urad dal and red chillies.

Add this ground paste to the spinach and dal in the wok. Add salt, mix well, and cook for 2 mins and turn off.

Crackle mustard seeds in some oil and add that to the cooked spinach and dal. Cheera moloshyam is ready. Serve with rice.

Notes:
An alternative to adding the ground coconut, roasted dal, and red chilly paste is to add finely chopped onions sautéd in oil.

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