Friday, 12 June 2015

Spinach cooked with lentils / South Indian Style Keerai Masiyal

South Indian style mashed dal with spinach is a tangy , slightly sweet, thick stew. It is topped with crispy fried shallots , cumin seeds and Ghee. Tamarind and jaggery gives this dal a distinct sweet and sour taste. Healthy stew and easy to make. Best served with hot steamed rice with a spoonful of ghee and papadum.



  • 1/3 Cup Yellow Moong Dal
  • 2 Tablespoon Toor Dal
  • 2 Cups packed spinach ( thaw if frozen )
  • 5 Shallots
  • 1 Tomato quartered
  • 1 Green Chilli
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • a big pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 Teaspoon sesame oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon tamarind pulp
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Jaggery

For the tempering

  • 1 Tablespoon sesame Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Ghee
  • 1/2 Urad Dal
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Dry Red Chilli
  • 1/4 Cup shallots finely chopped
  • a pinch of hing / asafoetida


1. In a pressure cooker, dry roast moong dal on low flame for 3 to 4 minutes until it turns light golden. Remove from heat and let it cool
2. Add toor dal to the pressure cooker. Soak dals in regular tap water for 15 minutes
3. Drain water completely
4. Add shallots, tomato, green chilli, garlic, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon oil. Add 1 Cup of water. Add thoroughly washed spinach to the pressure cooker. No need to chop the greens



5. Pressure cook on medium flame for 5 whistles

6. Once the pressure drops, open the lid and using the back of a ladle gently mash the dal and spinach to coarse puree. Alternatively, you can use a immersion blender to grind the mixture to coarse puree.

7.  Return the pressure cooker on medium flame and add 1/4 cup water to dilute the dal. Add tamarind pulp. Season with salt. Bring it to boil and simmer for 5 minutes
8. Prepare tadka / tempering : In a tadka pan, heat oil and ghee
9. Add urad dal and cumin seeds. Let the cumin seeds splutter. Then add broken dry red chilli and fry for 10 seconds. Add shallots and fry until they are crispy golden. Finally add hing and switch off the flame
10. Pour this tadka over the simmering dal. Add jaggery and give it a stir. Switch off the flame
11. Serve hot with steamed rice or roti

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