Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Indian Spinach Dhal (பசலை கீரை பருப்பு கடைசல்)


In Indian cuisine, dhal is one of the nutritious accompaniments to rice or chappati.  Different varieties of dhals can be made and spinach dhal is one among them. Though you can make spinach dhal with any type of spinach or ‘keerai’ (கீரை), I prefer to make it with Indian spinach or ‘pasalai keerai’ (பசலைக் கீரை) as this has a unique flavor. Indian spinach has large dark green leaves with a thick red or greenish stack. When you cook pasalai keerai, it gets sticky.

Indian spinach is rich in vitamins C, A and B complex, dietary fiber and minerals especially calcium, iron and potassium. Spinach dhal can be served with chappati and sabzi. It tastes great with rice and pickle as well.

Ingredients: (Serves four)
Indian Spinach (பசலைக் கீரை)
Toor dhal – ¾ tumbler or 150ml measure
Garlic – 3-4 pods, peeled
Indian spinach – whole leaves, 1 teacup or 200ml measure
Onion – 1 no, finely chopped
Tomato – 1 no, chopped
Green chillies – 4 no, slit lengthwise
Ginger – ½ inch piece, grated
Salt – to taste
Oil – 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
Jaggery – ½ teaspoon (optional)
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Jeera – 1 teaspoon
Ghee – 1 teaspoon
Indian Spinach Dhal (பசலை கீரை பருப்பு கடைசல்)
Method: Wash and pressure cook toor dhal and garlic with 2 tumblers (400ml) of water for 6-7 minutes (6-7 whistles). Once the pressure subsides, remove from the cooker and allow it to cool. Separate the leaves of Indian spinach, wash 2-3 times and then drain. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds. When they start to sputter, add jeera and sauté for a few seconds. Add chopped onion and fry till it becomes transparent.  Now add tomato pieces, spinach leaves, turmeric powder, grated ginger, green chillies and little water. Cover and cook on the low flame till the tomatoes become pulpy.

Mash the dhal very well with a ladle or hand blender and add it to the cooked spinach. Add salt and jaggery to the dhal. Mix well. Once the dhal starts to boil reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for two minutes. Switch off the fire. Add ghee, mix well and serve hot with chappati or roti. This dhal also goes well with rice and poriyal or pickle. 

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