Saturday, March 24, 2012

Keerai Masial (Tempered Spinach Puree)

Like most new Mom's, I worry myself silly over what goes into my nearly 4 year old's tummy. I try sneaking in things, I know, he will not eat if presented to him on a silver platter, these are the things every Mommy knows are 'good' for her baby. I get so mad that I have to put junk in his lunch box, just so he'll eat and not go hungry in school and later curse myself for being a weakling and letting him have his way with 'fun food'. 

So the meals he eats at home are ones which are sneaky 'good'. So sue me!  

Strange, how these things come back at ya. I can see where this will lead to in a few years when Little S is not so little and goes to school and demands his version of 'good food', like his Mommy did, years and years and years ago. I can see myself pulling at my graying hair, trying to  give my son a good ( my version) food and getting flippant answers, that I voiced, long ago. Oh!Aitch!

All these wicked thoughts of a childhood spent in wickedness is coming to get me, attack me and I run off to the stores and grab packs of Spinach, fresh Fenugreek leaves and anything I can , come home arms weighed down by all the greens and stuff feeling virtuous.

I turned to Chandra Padmanabhan's Dakshin for this simple and quick preparation. Works well on weekends when you do not want to slave over a stove or even on busy week nights when you want something quick before you flop into bed. Either way, you will go to bed feeling good about serving this iron rich Keerai Masial to your family!

You need:
1/2 Cup or  4 Tbsp split Green Gram daal (Moong beans, split and yellow in this case)
1 Cup Water
2 bunches Spinach leaves (the original recipe calls for Amaranth leaves)
Salt to taste
For Tempering:
2 tsp Ghee
1 tsp. Mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp Black Gram Daal  (urad daal) 
1 Red Chilli pepper halved
1/2 tsp Asafetida powder

Rinse the moong daal and cook it in the pressure cooker (2 whistles). The original recipe recommends cooking this daal on the stove top - that is not my cup of tea, I am not that patient. Do not drain any excess water.

Wash thoroughly and finely chop the Spinach (or Amaranth) . Lightly boil or steam, taking care that the leaves do not lose their color. Blend to a puree. Set aside

Add salt to the cooked daal. mix well and reheat.

Heat the ghee in a heavy frying pan. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad daal, halved red chilli and asafetida powder.
When the mustard splutters, add the tempering to the mashed  greens, mix with the cooked lentils and heat through  gently.
Serve hot with rice.

Peace out and enjoy the weekend, folks!

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  1. Looks very nice and healthy. Love anything with spinach.

  2. As my younger munchkin says, Add Garlic mom.. tons of fried garlic.....I love fried garlic in ghee and spinach. This is a must try as I have boiled two whole bunches of spinach yesterday!!
    Love Ash.

  3. I love spinach daal and this sounds delicious.

  4. A great way to introduce some healthy spinach into the diet. I always hunt for recipes that include spinach! will try soon :)

  5. Masial is purely Tamilian style. Masial is puree and keerai (greens)- we even don't add dhal sometimes- greens+ green chilies+cumin+ garlic steam or cook with less water and seasoned it! Love with dollop of ghee.
    At the beginning i use to send some junk along in lunch box - now only food :)

  6. very healthy ,delicious,simple and colourful!!what a dish!! loved it..
    nice blog you have .loved it too.

  7. Oh my god, Manasi, I just love keerai masiyal. I too make it with spinach, and my recipe's very similar. I've gotta try this soon.

  8. I can totally imagine myself in your shoes in a couple of years from now! my son is 1 1/2 years old and it is very hard to please him when it comes to food! Dont know what it will be like in two years :D

    you have got a neat blog! looking forward to try out your recipes!
    Do visit my new space when U are free!

  9. Looks great ! I remember having this as a child and I think was the only version of spinach I ever liked. Will try it out soon and hopefully my toddler will like it

  10. Lovely dish.. super healthy & delicious :)


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