Thursday, March 2, 2023




Today's recipe - Pasalai Keerai Kootu from Tamilnadu -is made with spinach and moong dal. It gets its name from the fact that Spinach is called Pasalai Keerai in Tamil. As you know, spinach is called Palak in Hindi and Palak Soppu in Kannada.

As a kid you may remember stories of Popeye eating vast amounts of Spinach! It has been well- established that Spinach has many health benefits so I often make dishes using spinach. 

Elsewhere in this blog you will find dishes as diverse as :-

Many people have ascribed their good health levels to having generous portions of greens in their meals. 

Pasalai Keerai Kootu is a delicious accompaniment for both hot steamed rice and for rotis/chapatis. I hope you will try this out and I am sure you will love it as much as we did. 


  • Pasalai Keerai (Spinach), a big bunch which yields 3 cups 
  • Pasi Paruppu (Split Green Gram /Moong Dal), 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
Grind To A Paste :- 
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1/3 cup
  • Byadgi Red Chillies, 3
  • Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Peppercorns, 1/2 tsp
For the Seasoning:- 
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2  tsp
  • Black Gram Dal ( Urad Dal), 1 tsp
  • Dry Red Chillies, broken into halves, 2 
  • Coconut Oil, 1 tsp


Remove the spinach leaves from their stems, wash them in several changes of water then drain away the water
Roughly chop the spinach leaves and keep aside

Wash and soak the moong dal for 15-20 minutes
In a pressure cooker, cook the moong dal along with a little turmeric powder with 1 and 1/2 cups of water for 2 whistles or till the dal gets done. Take care that it does not get overcooked.
Once the cooker cools, remove the cooked dal, mash it and keep aside 

In a small mixer jar, grind together the coconut gratings, Byadgi Red chillies, cumin seeds and peppercorns to a smooth paste adding just the required amount of water. Keep aside

Take the chopped spinach leaves in a vessel and add 1 cup of water, a little salt and turmeric powder, and cook till the spinach leaves get fully cooked. Remember that spinach gets cooked in very little time.
To this add the cooked and mashed moong dal, salt to taste and the freshly ground coconut paste
and mix well
Add a little water to get a gravy like consistency and bring to a boil
Lower the flame and let it simmer for a couple of minutes

Heat 1 tsp of coconut oil in a seasoning pan and on medium heat add the mustard seeds, when they splutter add the urad dal and saute till the dal changes colour
Add the broken red chillies and saute for a few seconds
Pour the seasoning on to the Pasalai Keerai Kootu

Switch off the gas and transfer the Kootu to a serving bowl
Serve hot with steamed rice or chapatis

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