Monday, January 12, 2009

Poondu Keerai Masiyal

My apologies for the long, unexplained absence from the blogging world. What started out as a week-long break during the holidays got extended and I had some trouble getting back on track but here I am now :) I've missed several interesting posts and I hope to catch up soon.
This is rather belated but I'd like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

Coming to the post du jour, this is just one of the many yummy meals we had over the holidays... since I had more time to cook something more elaborate. We also visited a friend who pampered us with such delicious meals every day of our stay... more about that and the baking episodes in a later post.

Keerai masiyal is something very close to my heart and even now, my mom makes it a point to make this atleast twice or thrice a week when I visit home. She normally uses something called 'Mulai keerai' (amaranth) to make this but since spinach is what is more widely available here, that's what I use most of the time. I remember helping my grandma smush it down using a rounded mathu and a wide vessel made of stone.... At my home, this is always paired with a vathal kuzhambu/puli kuzhambu and we would always end the meal with some yogurt rice paired with a combination of this keerai masiyal & puli kuzhambu - simply divine.

This is a rather simple & quick recipe and know that a bunch of spinach will cook down to just about 4 oz when done... I like the texture to be a bit coarse but if you want it to be really smooth, you could run it through a mixie before seasoning. This is also great with some ghee and rice.

POONDU KEERAI MASIYAL (Mashed spinach w/ garlic & seasonings)

Spinach - 1 bunch
Garlic Cloves - 4 or 5 (more if you like), peeled and cut into flakes
Green Chilli - 1
Salt - a small pinch

Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - quarter tsp
Urad Dhal - quarter tsp
Red Chilli - 1, broken in two.

1) Clean spinach leaves thoroughly and chop them.

2) Add the spinach leaves, garlic flakes & g. chilli in a pot, put on medium flame and cover. No need to add water since spinach will have enough.

3) When most of the water has dried up and the spinach has wilted down and cooked, add salt to taste (be careful not to overdo it) and keep stirring and smashing the spinach mixture until dry. If you want it smoother, run it through the mixie.

4) In a small pan, heat the oil and add the seasoning ingredients. When they splutter, add to the mashed spinach and mix in.

Here's a picture of our lunch: Rice, paruppu, ghee, vazhakai roast, vathal kuzhambu, poondu keerai masiyal, broccoli kootu, microwaved appalam & a cup of curd/yogurt (not in the picture).


  1. Happy Newyear.
    Wish I had that plate of delicious food . The whole plate lookss so yummy delicious.

  2. Happy New Year Laav :) I love masiyal a lot and my post is waiting for the green event !
    What a feast!

  3. happy new year lavanya..i too love them a lot with crush of garlic..ur thali looks delicious nd attrative...

  4. Happy new year to you laavanya, welcome back. Happens sometimes, week long becomes a month of break. I just came back blogging after 5mnts too! :D

    Great looking thali, yummy.I love garlic in any dish.

  5. Simple but delicious is what this keerai masiyal is. I have never paired it with vathal kulambu.

  6. wow thatz a good spread of comfort food. I havent eaten this dish, looks really delicious. I love such simple confort food

  7. your plate full of food makes me hungry..:)

  8. Not sure whether I wished you for the New Year or not, but happy new year! I love most anything to do with greens, and yours looks so nice and substantial.

  9. Happy New Year Laavanya,keerai masiyal and puli kozhumbu is one of my faves and our whole family loves that combination :-)

  10. Welcome back Laavanya. my moms makes this too every week, but without garlic. i will try adding it next time. i also add a tsp of cooked dhal just to bring it to a creamy consistency.

    masiyal looks yummy.

  11. kerai masiyal looks delicious. I have never added garlic and will try it the next time I make this :)

  12. Happy new year, dear Laavanya, and welcome back.
    This is my go-to masial for busy days. I love it and nothing beats the ease of preparation. Yours looks mouth-watering.

  13. Welcome back and very happy new year! How have you been?

  14. oh u took me to my school days lavanya.I too ued to help my mom in smashing the keerai ith the mathu. she always makes keerai on kalchatiwhich she will call kachidi.really curdrice vathakulambhuand keerai on top will be nic posting and wish u a very happy new year

  15. Wish you a very Happy New Year Lavanya, welcome back :) Such a delicious-looking platter, can I join you for lunch :)

  16. Happy New Year, Laavs:)

    garlic & spinach is one of my favourite combos and your masiyal looks so easy and wholesome that its got to be tried.
    Thanks for letting me know that you tried and enjoyed the pad thai

  17. I have never tried keerai this way..looks yumm..
    That plate looks so good..its perfect sunday lunch for me..

  18. Happy New Year to you too Laavanya :-)
    Keerai Masiyal, very healthy and in my opinion it is the dish were you most of the nutrients of the green.
    Your lunch plate looks very hearty ;-) Have Fun !

  19. We too make this in similar way! Looks so appetizing!

  20. Welcome back dear...I knw getting back on track is so diff, am having the same issue too ;)...Wish you Happy New Year and Pongal too..inbtw the feast looks wonderful

  21. Happy new year Laavanya!
    This poondu keera seems to be easy.. Looks delicious too!

  22. Isnt it wonderful to have someone pamper you and cook for you! I love spinach in any form, and this sounds so hearty and homely :)

  23. Happy new year to you too Lavanya...also wish u a happy Pongal :)
    Keerai masiyal looks great..same ingredients i use in poriyal...miss india for all the variety of leafy vegetables..vathal kolambu recipe is so tempting...
    here,no time to sit before the pc yaar :(hehhee will be busy like this for some more time....

  24. The last time I made something a little elaborate was for Onam!
    This meal looks delicious. I've never tried spinach with garlic like this... it has to be good.:D
    Nice to see u back.:)

  25. Happy New Year to you too!

    We prepare a similar dish of spinach and eat it with dhal and rice. So good! Now you are making me crave some :)

  26. So glad to have you back Laavanya. Glad that you had good holidays. I love anything that has greens in it.

  27. Wish You a happy New year too! The thali looks yummy!

  28. Wish this was not virtual! I love keerai masiyal and the thali look so tempting - I do not usually fry papadams and all that! Happy Pongal:)

  29. Thank you Happy Cook, Cham, Suma.

    Asha, good to have you back. Me too quite the fan of garlic.

    ISG, really? We've always had it that way.. do try sometime :)

    Thank you Deesha & Preety.

    Sra, Thank you. yes.. i've not been disappointed with most greens.

    Usha, nice to hear you are a fan of this combination too.

    Thank you Mahima.. i've seen recipes with the dhal. but have never tried it myself.

    Thank you Indhu.

    Vaishali, I totally agree.. this one is ready in a jiffy and tastes awesome.

    Thank you Anudivya.

    Jeyashri - so nice to read your memories. Happy New year to you too.

    Thank you Gita.. Of course :)

    Delhibelle, thank you.. That recipe was just foolproof so all thanks to you.

    Sowyma, thanks.. yes it made for a very filling lunch.

    Thank you Rathna, Raks & Priti.

    Anu, it is very easy.. do try sometime.

    Veggiebelly, absolutely and we enjoyed 4 days of that!

    Ramya, it's good to be busy.. post when you find time :) Nice to hear from you.

    Hey TBC, yeah me too.. once in a while i get the mood and energy for something more elaborate. I wonder how our moms did it almost everyday! If you like spinach.. you'll definitely like this...

    Thank you Cynthia, RC & Homecooked.

    Sunshinemom.. wish i could parcel some over.

  30. I made keerai masiyal... took pics, and then forgot about it. I have to make do with palak too... it is very rarely that we find molai keerai in Delhi

  31. looks perfect. i'd love to try this with the huge box of organic spinach i have.


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