Keerai, green leafy vegetables (in Tamil) are powerhouses of a lot of nutrients. I love colored vegetables and if you are to unload my shopping bag from any weekly grocery run, you are sure to find a lot of different colored vegetables. As much as it is important to have as many colored vegetables in our daily diet, it is very important to have a good inclusion of green leafy vegetables. Fortunately for me, I happen to love these! 😀 Siru Keerai, a variant of green amaranth leaves has small sized leaves and tastes so good in stir-fries or curries.
I have fond memories of going vegetable shopping with my dad in our place. We have a fairly big market where there are a lot of pop-up shops. On Sundays especially, the vendors have huge loads of fresh vegetables and fruits – with one person offering a good bargain over the other. As far as I have known, my dad has been the one shopping vegetables every week for the house and with so many years of going to the same shops over & over, they are more like friends! Vegetables are bought in bulk and carefully used for the rest of the week. When it came to green leafy vegetables, dad used to think twice before getting them, for it was such a task for mom to clean them up. So, he would usually let mom buy what she wanted from the regular door-to-door vegetable hawker lady! She would come home with a big basket of fresh greens and amma would check with me on what I would like before getting it. Aww the good old days!
Ok back to the recipe now. This is recipe is special for couple of reasons. It is neither from my mom nor my mother-in-law (as it always happens to be). This is from my little sister, who learnt it from her mother-in-law. I just love how a recipe is carried through different generations and then when it lands in an unassuming way in my hands, I cant help but share! Kadaiyal or Masiyal is prepared by hand blending the cooked greens – usually made in an earthen pot with a matthu (a masher) and this is such a healthy recipe! I have got no earthen pots and to reduce the preparation time, I have used my blender. Keerai Masiyal is had with hot rice and ghee/sesame oil. It just tastes yummm – especially with a side of roasted potatoes.
To make Keerai Masaiyal | Sirukeerai Kadaiyal
What I used –
- Siru Keerai/Green Amaranth Leaves, 2 cups (tightly packed)
- Onion, 1 medium
- Tomato, 1 medium
- Garlic Pods, 5 - 6
- Green Chillies, 2
- Jeera/Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp
- Moong Dal, 2 tsp
- Oil, 1 teaspoon + 1 tsp
- Mustard Seeds, ½ tsp
- Dried Red Chilli, 1
- Salt, as needed
How I made –
1. In a thick bottomed pan, heat 1 teaspoon of oil. Add chopped onion, tomato, green chillies, garlic pods, cumin seeds and moong dal. Stir fry everything together for a couple of minutes.
2. Add washed and cleaned Siru Keerai/green amaranth leaves. Add salt required and stir fry until the leaves are wilted. Keep covered and continue to cook until the greens, onion and tomato are cooked well. It should take about 7-10 mins on low flame. Switch off the heat.
3. Put all of this into a blender jar and pulse it a few times until smooth. Remove onto a bowl. In a small pan, heat 1tsp oil. Add mustard seeds and roughly torn dried red chilli. As mustard seeds pop, switch off the heat and add this tempering to the prepared keerai masiyal. Mix well.
4. Serve immediately with hot rice and ghee/gingely oil. Optional to have some fryums or roasted potatoes.
- It is important to clean the greens correctly. Wash through running water for 3 times atleast to remove any dirt or silt. Optionally the greens can be soaked in salt water for few mins to remove any germs.
- Remove any green leaves that are infested with pests and discard the stem unless it is very tender.
- Adding moong dal to the cooking greens help give a body to the Keerai Masiyal.
- The water content from tomatoes and onions along with greens should be enough to cook everything. Dont add extra water. Cook on low flame, covered.
- The same recipe can be used of Arai Keerai – another variant of green amaranth leaves.
- This stays good in the refrigerator for a day but it is good to consume greens on the same day of preparation.
- Adjust the number of green chillies as per spice preference.
Taking this to the Fiesta Friday #128!