Sunday 16 August 2015

Spinach Sundal (கீரை சுண்டல்)

Sundal’ (சுண்டல்) is nothing but seasoned lentils or pulses that are made either sweet or spicy. I am not sure why this particular form of dry curry is called ‘sundal’. Nonetheless, it is tasty and goes well with rice mixed with sambar or rasam. My grandmother used to make this curry often. However, I have given a slight twist to the seasoning and this works great for me! Tender amaranth (தண்டு கீரை), a commonly used green in Tamilian cuisine, is rich in iron, calcium and vitamins. This variety of spinach is best suited for making spinach sundal (கீரை சுண்டல்).
Tender amaranth (தண்டு கீரை)
Ingredients: (Serves four)
Tender amaranth (தண்டு கீரை) – 1 bunch, chopped finely
Salt – to taste
Coconut oil – 1 tablespoon
Cooking oil – 2 teaspoons
Asafoetida – a generous pinch
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Split urad dhal – 1 teaspoon
Dried red chilies – 3 no
Coconut – grated, 3 tablespoons
Raw rice – 2 tablespoons

Spinach Sundal (கீரை சுண்டல்)

Method: Chop off the thick root portion of tender amaranth (தண்டு கீரை); Cut the stems and leafy portion into small bits.  Wash the chopped greens in water 2-3 times, drain well and keep aside.

Heat oil in a kadai, add red chilies and fry till they turn darker. Add in mustard seeds, when they start to sputter, add urad dhal, and fry till the dhal turns golden brown. Now add the chopped spinach, salt and asafoetida. Mix well. Cover and cook on low flame. Do not add water and spinach gets cooked in the steam generated. Turn the contents once or twice. Once cooked, amaranth reduces to ⅓ of its original quantity. Switch off the fire. 

Heat the coconut oil in a tadka pan/spice pan (தாளிக்கிற கரண்டி), add the raw rice and fry till the rice slightly puffs up. Remove from fire; add grated coconut to the fried rice and sauté for a minute. Add the fried items to the cooked spinach and mix well. Serve as part of the regular meal with rice and rasam/ kuzhambu.

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