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.

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

Spinach Dal Curry (Palak Dal)

A simple and nutritious spinach dal curry that tastes great with both roti and rice. You can prepare this with toor dal, mung dal, masoor dal or a mix of all of these. I cook this at least once a week to ensure regular consumption of greens.

 

Ingredients:
Toor Dal – 1/2 cup
Spinach (finely chopped) – 3 cups
Garlic – 2-3 cloves
Onion – 2
Tomato – 2
Cumin Seeds/Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Tumeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Green chilies – 1
Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
Asafetida/Hing powder a pinch
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt as needed
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Water – 2-1/2 cups (as needed)

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 25 mins
Serves: 3-4

Method:
Pressure cook the dal in 2 cups of water. Ensure that the dal is well cooked. Mash it
well.
Wash the spinach, drain the water completely, and chop them finely.
Peel garlic and onions. Wash the tomatoes and green chilies. Chop each separately and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds and hing.
When they start to splutter, add finely chopped garlic and green chilies.
When garlic and green chilies start to change color, add finely chopped onions.
As onions turn translucent, add chopped tomato.
Add turmeric powder and chili powder. Cook until tomatoes turn mushy.
Add the chopped palak. Cover and cook for 2-3 mins until palak wilts and turns dark green.
Add cooked dal. Add salt and mix well.
Add water if needed to bring it to the consistency that you desire.
Bring to boil. Remove from fire.
Add a tbsp of lemon juice and mix well just before serving. Serve with roti or rice along with a dry vegetable side dish (preferably lightly roasted). Tastes awesome.

Notes:
You can wilt the palak separately by placing it on a steamer for 5-10 minutes and then
grind it in a mixer. Add it to the well-churned dal, you can also have this on its own like a soup.
You may add chopped ginger also along with garlic, if preferred.
Before you cook dal, sift through them to remove any stones or debris. Rinse
thoroughly.
If you are using pressure cooker to cook dal, add twice the amount of water. If cooking
on stove-top, add about 3 to 4 times the amount of water.