As promised, I am starting my Kanu spread with the recipe for Keerai Masiyal. Sometime back, Jennifer had asked what the difference was between Keerai molakoottal and Keerai Masiyal. Basically, Keerai molakoottal and Keerai Masiyal both are prepared with pureed Spinach or Amaranth. Whereas Keerai molakoottal is a richer curry with dal and coconut in it, Keerai masiyal is just pureed spinach with minimum spices and garnishing. Also Keerai molakoottal is used as a gravy curry to mix with rice with a side dish like Pachadi or thogayal. Keerai Masiyal is used as a side dish for sambar or morukoottan etc.
At home, we are especially partial to greens and would like to have a green in our menu as often as can be managed. The flip side is the time taken to clean and wash the greens. Now that I have a small patch of kitchen garden in Hyderabad, I manage to have greens more often.
Sometime back we had an arrangement with a hawker to supply one type of greens daily at our doorsteps. It so happened that my beloved parents spent couple of weeks with us at that time and my father enjoyed the daily greens. So when he was leaving, he told my husband,"my special thanks for the daily keerai". The next time my parents were expected, my husband said, "so, I will stop the greens from tomorrow". I asked, "but why?". He said, "your father apparently did not like the daily keerai, that's why he made a dig at me jokingly." I blurted out laughing and said, "Actually he loves Keerai and as it is difficult to get keerai everyday at home in Kerala, he really enjoyed the keerai and he was complimenting you!"
Now for the recipe.
I like to use either amaranth or spinach for keerai masiyal. Thandu keerai is for poriyal only. I like to use coconut oil for garnish as it imparts a special flavour.
Spinach: 1 bunch
turmeric powder: 1 tsp.
Salt to taste.
Coconut oil: 2 tsp.
urad dal: 1 tsp.
Rice: 1 tsp. (uncooked)
Red chillies: 2 nos.
Curry leaves: few
Clean and wash the spinach to remove all the dirt and soil. Boil in minimum water with salt and turmeric powder for 5-10 mnts. Cool and blend in a blender.
Heat a pan and add the coconut oil. When the oil is hot add, the mustard, urad dal, rice, broken red chillies and curry leaves, in that order. When the urad dal and rice turn pinkish red in color add the blended spinach and saute for 5 mnts. Your tasty keerai masiyal is ready. Quite quick, isn't it?