Monday, June 23, 2014

Paruppu Keerai - made in two ways!

Many people don't like spinach or broccoli. They turn their faces away.....keeps me wondering why they are like this! Have they ever tasted it actually to enjoy them? Well...... I love these two. I try and include spinach atleast 3 times a week. It is a staple in our home. I am so happy that my kids too follow me in this. It is also comparatively cheap when compared to other veggies most of the year and it is packed with all the nutrition.With many different types of greens being available, it fits your bill easily and can whip up a meal easily - salad, soup, gravies, breads........these are only a few. So why say no to the special greens!




When I looked at this kind of spinach which they called as Paruppu Keerai (Spinach in tamil is Keerai) in Ooty, (the spinach with the same name that they call in chennai looks a lot different and no beautiful purple shade) I fell in love with it immediately. Look at the purple shade in the spinach. It's lovely. Before my husband could even think, I had bagged a few bunches (he was a little worried with the size of the bag................no regrets since we always love to use the local grown veggies and fruits not to mention the ones from the beautiful hill station too).

I used them to make our family favorites. They were absolutely very very tasty. The kids even had extra helpings! It cooked very fast and tasted divine. The recipes here can be made with any kind of spinach and the amount of dhal too could be adjusted to your taste. They go very well with rice or any flat breads.



Paruppu Keerai with Moong dhal




Ingredients:

Split moong - 1/4 cup
Paruppu Keerai - 1 bunch
Green chilli - 1, slit
Salt
Water

Seasoning:

Oil - 1 tsp
Dried red chilli - 1
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Split Urad dhal - 1/4 tsp
Cumin - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp

Method:

Wash and chop the spinach. In a pot, bring to boil the split moong with 11/2 or 2 cups of water. When it is almost done, add the spinach and green chilli. Mix well and let it cook for sometime.



It will get a little reduced in quantity,as both the dhal and spinach would have cooked perfectly. Add salt. Mix thoroughly and cook for a minute. In a separate pan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds, when it splutters add the remaining ingredients, fry for a minute and pour it in the spinach gravy. Enjoy with a steaming bowl of rice and roti!





Tangy and Spicy Paruppu Keerai or Keerai Pulipu




Ingredients:

Paruppu Keerai - 1 bunch
Tamarind - a small lemon sized ball
Toor Dhal - 6 tbsp, cooked and mashed a little
Salt
Water

Season with:

Oil - 1 tsp
Dried red chillies - 5 or 6
Green chillies - 5 or 6, slit
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp

Method:

Wash and chop the spinach. Extract the juice from tamarind with roughly 11/2 cups of water. Heat a pan, add the oil. When it is hot, add all the ingredients for seasoning and the add the spinach. Mix for couple of minutes. Add the tamarind juice. Let the spinach cook in the tamarind juice which gives the gravy a tangy taste. When it is almost done cooking add the cooked dhal and salt. Mix well and let it simmer for a few minutes. Adjust the consistency with water. It shouldn't be too thick or thin. I enjoy it equally with a steaming bowl of rice and with dosa or chapathi......love it!



Tips:

The spiciness depends only on the red and green chillies. Feel free to adjust the chilli numbers to suit your family's taste.

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