Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Spinach / Keerai Masiyal

Spinach Gravy Keerai Masiyal
Spinach can easily be termed as the best known of all green leafy vegetables. Some historic facts point to India as the origin for this healthy vegetable. Spinach can be had just as simple as a salad or with any other vegetables to form a vegetarian curry or gravy. Spinach is a good source for lot many nutrients like vitamins A and C, minerals, fiber and Iron. Though spinach has iron content, it is a myth that it has an extraordinary amount of iron content.

In USA, you can get spinach in any super market in any of these forms : Freshly packed, Canned or Frozen. You can also find the ready-to-eat ones which have pre-washed spinach packed in bag.

If you are buying the freshly packed ones, be sure to look for green and crips ones and avoid those that are damaged or spotted.

Here is my recipe for Keerai Masiyal. It makes an excellent combination with white rice.

Spinach -1 bunch
Green chillies – 2
Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
Pearl onions – 7 (Can be replaced by a small red onion)
Salt – as required
Garlic – 2 cloves
Asafetida or Hing - pinch

1. Wash the spinach and place it in a non stick pan. Cover and cook it till soft, take care to make sure it is not burnt.
2. Finely chop the onion, green chillies and garlic.
3. Then add 1 tsp of oil and add coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic and finally the onions. Saute all these for a while.
4. Mash the spinach into a smooth paste and add along with the mixture. Alternatively you can skip the onions , add spinach and finally mash it into a smooth paste(I grind it in a mixer). The final texture depends on my mood and how I plan to have the Keerai masiyal with. I usually go with the onions and not grinding the mixture, but very rarely like today I grind it when I want it smooth.
5. Your masiyal is ready and enjoy it with steamed white rice or roti.

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