Keerai Thandu Kootu – technically made with thandu keerai…. how on earth am i going to find that in USA 🙄 you know what? matured amaranth greens are thandu keerai (tandalja bhaji) and you know many Indian stores have these thick stemmed amaranth at times and we normally discard thinking its way too thick… not anymore. They take a little longer to cook but completely edible and highly nutritious too. Here’s what i did… leafy parts went into keerai poriyal and those thick thandu went into kootu making and its for you here!
Foxtail Amaranth (Thandu keerai) – is very popular during summer months in India… back home its made when aadi masama koozh is prepared for Amman. There are variations to this keerai.. a green variety , a red variety…it all depends how long its allowed to grow. Amaranth typically grown for short time referred as Mulai keeari and longer ones are referred as thandu keerai. Understanding these keerai Arai Keerai , Mulai keerai, Siru Keerai & Thandi Keerai… is a big task here in USA where all keerai referred as spinach( 😛 lol) & I’m trying my best!
- Thandu Keerai / Amaranth stems – 20
- Pasi Paruppu – 1/4 cup
- Onion – 1/2 cup (chopped)
- Green Chilli – 3
- Grated coconut – 2 tablespoons
- Oil – 2 tablespoons
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Asafoetida – 1/4 teaspoon
- Curry leaves – 5
- Salt – 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste)
Lets see how to make this Keerai Thandu kootu…
Prep work as usual… Soak pasi paruppu for atleast 30 minutes. Cook in a preassure cooker upto 3 whistles and keep it ready.
Separate the leaves from the stem(you may use the leaves if you want to… Grate the coconut and keep it ready.
It said Tandelo Bhaji which is Mulai keerai… but look at the matured stems 😯
Probably left to grow a little longer making it “Thandu Keerai” You may sometimes get a red variety too.
Chop the stems into tiny pieces.
Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Sprinkle asafoetida.
Saute the onions along with the green chilli for few minutes.
Now add the chopped amaranth stems and saute along.
Bring the flame to medium low , cover with a lid and slow cook for 10 minutes. Thicker stems take longer… Patience required, don’t rush orelse that kootu will have ups and downs while eating 🙄 but cover and cook until the stems become tender. Once done it will still hold its shape but will get mushy when pressed.
Now add the cooked dal to the thoroughly cooked stems along with salt.
The mixture will look chunky with keerai thandu holdin gits shape but soft though!
Finally add in the grated coconut and give a quick mix and switch off.
Serve it as a side for kara kuzhambu or eat it topped over rice with a drizzle of ghee!
- Serves 3- 4
- You may use any dal for kootu… thuvar or pachai paruppu or even kadalai paruppu can be used.
- Always add salt after you cook the keerai.
- Normally keerai is not cooked covered but in this case, its tougher stems and needs to be covered cooked to make it soft.
- Some stores have them as Red Amaranth.
- You may also use the leaf for this recipe.
Here are some Keerai recipes from our page…