Masiyal is a South Indian dish made from dal and vegetables. It can be made with toor dal or mung dal, or a mixture of both. It can contain tamarind (but not always) but will always include lots of vegetables. There are no ground or powdered spices, it is only seasoned with a few selected spices.
The recipe is another from the doyen of TamBram cooking from South India, Meenakshi Ammal, in the first volume of Cook and See. It is in the chapter of Poritha Kuzhambu, and is one member of the family of toor-dal based vegetable dishes.
This same recipe can be made with a range of green leaves – fenugreek leaves, radish tops, etc, or with ridged gourd. I guess in these modern times we could use beetroot leaves too. You can make it thin as a Kuzhambu, or thick as a Koottu, depending on personal preference.
Similar recipes include Elephant (Foot) Yam Masiyal, Mango Kootu, Green Amaranth Soup with Tamarind, Poritha Kootu with Tamarind, Elephant Yam Masiyal with Fenugreek Seeds, Ridged Gourd Masiyal, Brinjal Chidambaram Gothsu, and Poritha Kuzhambu with Amaranth Leaves.
Or alternatively, check out all of Meenakshi Ammal’s dishes that we have made. All Indian recipes are here. You might like to browse our Indian Essentials. Or take some time to explore our Early Autumn collection of recipes.
Amaranth Leaves Masiyal | Dal with Amaranth Leaves, Green Chillies and Cashews
0.25 cups red gram dal (toor dal) or green gram dal (mung dal)
1o0g Amaranth Leaves
6 green chillies
0.25 tspn brown mustard seeds
small piece ginger, chopped
2 tspns ghee or Indian Sesame Oil
Cook the toor dal until very mushy/pastey. This will take around 30 mins unless the dal is old and drier – then it will take longer. Add a little water if necessary and mix well. (Cook Mung Dal the same way if using this instead of toor dal.)
Meanwhile, cook the amaranth leaves in a little amount of water with sea salt until tender. Mash them a little when cooked, or remove them from the cooking water, and chop finely.
Add the leaves (and the cooking water if desired) to the cooked toor dal with the asafoetida powder. Bring it back to the boil.
Fry the chopped green chillies in ghee and add to the leaves and dal, and mix well. Boil again for a few minutes then remove from the heat.
Make the tadka by melting the ghee and adding the mustard seeds. Allow them to pop, then add the ginger. After a moment add the cashew nuts and curry leaves, allow the nuts to brown slightly, then pour all onto the dal.
Squeeze the lime juice and add to the dal. Mix, garnish with coriander leaves and serve.
recipe notes and alternatives
This same recipe can be made with ridged gourd, paruppu kerai, fenugreek leaves, radish tops, etc. I guess in these modern times we could use beetroot leaves too.