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Spinach in moong dal - Paruppu keerai masiyal

This dish is an excellent rice accompaniment. Drizzled with little ghee on top the spinach dal rice is definitely kids favorite food. I use coconut oil for tadka as it gives a unique flavor to the dish. I usually avoid adding tomatoes for dal or spinach dishes. 


Spinach 1 lb
Broken Moong Dal 1/2 to 3/4 cup
Jeera / Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Garlic Pods 4-5 
Peppercorns 1/2 tsp
Red Chillies 4-5 broken

To temper:

Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
curry leaves a sprig
Pearl Onions 10 chopped or 1 big onion chopped
Coconut oil 1 tsp

How To:

  • Dry roast the dal in a pan in medium flame. Roasting enhances the flavor and hence optional. 
  • Add the Dal with cumin seeds, red chillies, garlic pods, peppercorns to boiling water. And boil for 15- 20 minutes. You can boil for 30 minutes if you want the dal to get mushy. 

Cooked moong dal
  • Wash and clean the spinach and add it to a pressure cooker or a big pot. add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water and sprinkle some salt. Let it cook for 10 minutes. This will soften the spinach. 

Softened spinach
  • Mix the softened keerai and dal together. Let it boil for 5 or 10 minutes. Add the necessary salt. You can add 1/2 to 1 tsp sambhar powder if you need more karam.
  • The dish should now be 10% to 20% karam or spicier than you actually want. After adding tadka the karam will come down.  
  • Heat oil in a small pan and add oil. Once warm add mustard seeds. After it splutters add cumin seeds and curry leaves.
  • After a minute add the onions and saute in medium flame. Add this tadka to the spinach dal mixture and cook for 3-5 minutes. 
  • Once cooled you can mix with mathu or hand mixer to mash the dish. DO NOT USE BLENDER. 

 I am submitting this dish for the event in Easy Indian Recipes blog for "Cooking with Green".