Amaranth greens also known as Chinese spinach is a kind of leafy vegetable which is very popular in India, is great source of vitamins and minerals. There are quite a lot of varieties under this family… some also come with reddish tinge on leaves. This particular variety shown in picture is called “Mulai Keerai” “முளைக் கீரை” in Tamil was available in big bunches at my local Indian store, surprisingly very fresh. There you go…. ta-da.. a big bowl of keerai paruppu debut here.
Mula Keerai Paruppu / Thottakura Pappu / Keerai parauppu / Mashed greens / Amaranth dal / Dhal / Keerai Kootu / Masiyal / Lentil / Masial / Paruppu Keerai / Pappu
Title of the recipe appears in Tamil.. just a part of my chinna chinna aasai to bring back fresh nostalgic hometown memories… To all my non Tamil friends here is a list with translation.
English —– Amaranth greens
Chinese —–Hinn Choy, Yin tsoi
Tamil ——-Mulai Keerai, Mula Keerai
Malayalam — Cheera
Hindi —– Chauli
AMARANTH ~~~~~ முளைக் கீரை
|1 cup||Toor dal|
|20 stks||Amaranth greens|
|2 nos||Green chili (finely chopped)|
|2 tsp||Tamarind juice|
|¼ tsp||Turmeric powder|
|1 no||Dry red chili|
|¼ tsp||Mustard seeds|
|¼ tsp||Cumin seeds|
|1 clove||Garlic (crushed)|
|¼ tsp||Asafoetida powder|
|5 nos||Curry leaves|
First of all cooking basics… this particular leafy vegetable will taste bitter if over cooked and doesn’t suit much for reheating. tender stalk and leaves are edible. Cook a small batch and finish the same day. Pressure cooking is mostly opted if lentil is a part of the preparation. But again over cooking leads to bitterness and loss of nutrients. So just 2 whistles of steam cooking or stove top boiling or sauteing will do the job. let me explain both the methods and you can choose whichever fits your schedule.
Pressure cooking : Wash the leaves and tender stalks, chop them finely and keep aside. Soak toor dal for at least 1/2 hour, wash and keep aside. Heat ghee in a pressure pan and do the tempering with mustard, cumin seeds, red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves. Add chopped onions, crushed garlic, green chilies and tomatoes. Slightly saute them for a minute, add the chopped greens, washed toor door, 2 cups water and turmeric powder. Pressure cook upto 2 whistles, then add tamarind juice and salt. Mash lightly with a saptula and serve hot with rice and ghee.
Stove top boiling : Pressure cook the toor dal with water and turmeric and keep aside. Now is regular wide sauce pan, heat ghee and do the tampering with mustard, cumin dry red chili, asafoetida and curry leaves. Add chopped onion, garlic and green chili to this and fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Now add the tomatoes and chopped green leaves and saute for few minutes. Add 2 cups of water and let it boil until the leaves become tender which should take about 5 to 6 in high flame. Now add the cooked dal, tamarind juice and salt. Combine well and switch off. Serve with rice topped with ghee.
Yield: 4 adult servings.
I used a whole bunch to my one cup toor dal and that’s why my dal looks too greenish. With less leaves the dal will be more prominent and colorful.