Keerai Masiyal | Amaranth Leaf Masiyal

There are a number of Amaranth greens available in South India – Mulaikkeerai, Muli Thandu or Thandukkeerai, and Arikkeerai. The most common variety of amaranth that is grown here, Foxtail Amaranth, is Thandukkeerai, but it is grown for ornamental reasons in gardens, not culinary ones. It is very difficult to find the  different varieties in shops unless you search the Asian markets.

The different varieties do have different tastes and properties – for example, some are heating to the body and some are cooling to the body. In India, the crops of Amaranth are also dependent on the season – the cooling ones in the hottest parts of the year, the heating ones in the coldest times of the year. Here, there is no such availability, information or attention to detail. Do use whichever amaranth is available to you.

We generally think of Masiyal as being made with toor dal or a mixture of toor dal and mung dal. However Meenakshi Ammal in her books Cook and See has several recipes for Amaranth Masiyal (in Vol. 1) that do not contain any dal. This one mashes the leaves, and I have to say it is very delicious. One of the defining characteristics of Masiyal is that there are no ground or powdered spices, only seasoning with a few selected whole spices. It allows the ingredients to shine rather than being overwhelmed with spices, onions or garlic. That is the beauty of all traditional Tamil food.

Similar dishes include Poritha Kootu, Mung Bean Soup with Amaranth, and Poritha Kuzhambu with Amaranth.

Browse all of our Amaranth dishes and all of our Masiyal recipes.  All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Keerai Masiyal | Amaranth Leaf Masiyal”

Puli Keerai | Amaranth Greens with Tamarind

Oh the joy of Amaranth. Spectacular in the garden, a delight in the rays of sunset, and absolutely delicious in the kitchen. Today we are cooking Amaranth leaves with tamarind in a simply spiced dish. The leaves are mashed a little but not completely.

The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal‘s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes. In Vol 1, she includes 3 recipes for Amaranth leaves in the chapter on Aviyal.

Similar recipes include Amaranth Leaf Masiyal, Sampangi Pitlai, Poritha Kootu, and Spinach Chutney.

Browse all of our Amaranth Leaf recipes and all of our Masiyal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Puli Keerai | Amaranth Greens with Tamarind”

Amaranth Plain Masiyal | Thandukkeerai – Araikkeerai Plain Masiyal

It is quite fun exploring the use of Amaranth Leaves in both Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. Right now we are focused on Indian uses (of course) but will explore the uses in Middle Eastern and other cuisines as long as our season of Amaranth lasts. Luckily the plants are self-sowing, so there will be another amaranth forest next year, no doubt.

This dish is another Masiyal with Amaranth Leaves – the third one we have made. The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal‘s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes. In Vol 1, and she includes 3 recipes for Amaranth leaves in the chapter on Aviyal.

Generally masiyal is made with toor dal but less commonly it is made without dal, as in this recipe. The  vegetables generally are mashed or finely chopped, and there are (generally) no ground or powdered spices, only seasoning with a few selected whole spices.

You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Similar recipes include Puli Keerai, Ridged Gourd Masiyal, Sampangi Pitlai, Poritha Kootu, and Spinach Chutney.

Browse all of our Amaranth Leaf recipes and all of our Masiyal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Amaranth Plain Masiyal | Thandukkeerai – Araikkeerai Plain Masiyal”

South Indian Amaranth Leaves Soup with Tamarind

Amaranth is loved across India (and features strongly in a range of Asian cuisines). All parts are used – the seeds are well known outside India, and at the moment they are fashionable and quite popular. But in India the leaves are also used, and the young, tender stems as well.

Amaranth leaves are available in Asian shops so keep an eye out for them. There are different varieties – some are green, but others often contain a tinge of red. Beautiful indeed.

Meenakshi Ammal in her cookbooks Cook and See mentions Amaranth leaves and stems a lot in her sections on sambars and kuzhambu recipes. This recipe she calls (in English) Greens Soup with Tamarind and it sits in the chapter of Poritha Kuzhambu. It is an unusual name given that soups are not traditionally part of the Tamil cuisine (although they are popular more recently). I wonder if the name in Tamil is quite different. However, she certainly got the colour correct!

This recipe is a cousin to this one of the same name. While that one uses Pitlay spices but not a tadka, this recipe uses sambar powder with a tadka. Both are pretty special and you should try them both. This one is closer to this Poritha Koottu with Tamarind.

Similar recipes include Amaranth Leaf Masiyal, Poritha Kuzhambu dishes and Poritha Kootu recipes. Try Plain Masiyal of Amaranth Leaves, Moar Kuzhambu, Lentil Balls in a Spicy Gravy, and Vatral Kuzhambu.

Some popular Indian Soups include Indian Potato and Tomato Soup, South Indian Cauliflower Soup, Two Gentle Mung Dal Soups, and A Light, Summery Tomato Soup.

But why not browse all of our Kuzhambu recipes, and all Indian Soups? Or explore our Amaranth dishes, and our complete Indian Recipe Collection. Or take some time to check out our easy Early Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “South Indian Amaranth Leaves Soup with Tamarind”

Poritha Kootu with Chickpeas and Tamarind

I have been showering you with a range of Kootu recipes without tamarind, and they are glorious! But, occasionally, Kootu can include some tamarind for that lovely tangy taste. It is best to use Toor Dal, rather than Mung dal, when tamarind is used.

This recipe uses a ground masala with coconut, cumin and urad dal (black gram dal). Some households use black pepper instead of cumin. Poritha Kootu with Tamarind can be made with a medley of vegetables, rather than the single vegetable that is preferred for Poritha Kuzhambu. Another feature of this dish that you will notice, is that it includes legumes and/or beans as well as the dal.

Remember that this is a thicker dish than Poritha Kuzhambu, so cook the dal and vegetables in less water than you might otherwise.

This recipe is again one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from the first volume of Cook and See. Such a tangle it was, but I think that I have untangled it well. I do hope that you enjoy. We have used Drumstick Leaves (Moringa) as our vegetable.

Would you like to try other Poritha Kootu recipes? Try Poritha Kootu with Sambar Powder and Poritha Kootu without Cumin. Recipes with Chickpeas include Chana Masala.

Why not browse through Meenakshi Ammal’s recipes? They are here.

Then browse all of the Poritha Kootu recipes. All of our Sambar and Kuzhambu dishes can be browsed here. Have a look at all of our Indian recipes. Or you may like to explore our Early Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Poritha Kootu with Chickpeas and Tamarind”

Poritha Kootu with Finely Diced Snake Gourd

Kootu is a favourite in our house – well, we just love toor dal, truth be told. With a snake gourd in the fridge, left over from making Snake Gourd Pachadi, we make this Snake Gourd Kootu. The same recipe can be made with cabbage, kohlrabi, amaranth leaves or spinach instead of snake gourd.

The gourd is finely diced in this recipe, so it disappears into the dal, and is a delightful surprise as you are eating. Gorgeous pops of green-tasting snake gourd in your mouth. It is wonderful served with rice.

Similar recipes include Cluster Bean Kootu, Brinjal Asadu, Poritha Kootu, Poritha Kootu with Tamarind, Amaranth Leaves Masiyal, and Pitlai.

Browse all of our Kootu dishes and all of our Snake Gourd recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

Continue reading “Poritha Kootu with Finely Diced Snake Gourd”

Poritha Kuzhambu with Tamarind

Poritha Kuzhambu is a delicious dish defined by the addition of coconut and cumin seeds. Many of our recipes for this dish have been made without tamarind, but today’s recipe includes that wonderful, sour tang.

What makes Poritha Kuzhambu different from Sambar and Pitlay is its ground masala with coconut, cumin and urad dal (black gram dal). Some households use black pepper instead of cumin. Poritha Kuzhambu with Tamarind can be made with a medley of vegetables or a single one, often with the addition of a legume. Meenakshi Ammal always suggests using only one vegetable for Poritha Kuzhambu and a mixture of vegetables for Kootu. Although in this one, when listing the vegetables, she seems to relax that rule just for a moment for this recipe, suggesting that vegetables can be used in combination, but later instructions imply again that for Kuzhambu, one vegetable is best.

Another feature of Poritha Kuzhambu with Tamarind is that it often includes lentils and/or beans together with the traditional toor dal (red gram dal). We have made this with toor dal and chickpeas. Delicious!

This recipe is indeed one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from the first volume of Cook and See. This recipe is a tangle! Like the first ones in the book, for Sambar, this recipe definitely takes some detective work to untangle. Thoughts have been put down without logic and structure, so I have done my best to add sequence and process to the instructions. I do hope that you enjoy.

Similar recipes include Plain Masiyal of Amaranth Leaves, Simple Poritha Kuszhambu, and Ammal’s “Method Three” Poritha Kuzhambu. Also Green Chilli Kuzhambu, Fenugreek Kuzhambu and Race Kuzhambu.

Why not browse through the recipes of Meenakshi Ammal? They are here.

Then browse all of the Poritha Kuzhambu recipes. All of our Sambar and Kuzhambu dishes can be browsed here. Have a look at all of our Indian recipes. Or you may like to explore our Early Autumn recipes.

I would also suggest trying the Kootu recipes – these are very similar but have a thicker consistency.

Continue reading “Poritha Kuzhambu with Tamarind”

Amaranth Leaves Masiyal | Dal with Amaranth Leaves, Green Chillies and Cashews

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 MasiyalBrinjal 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.

Continue reading “Amaranth Leaves Masiyal | Dal with Amaranth Leaves, Green Chillies and Cashews”

Andhra Spinach Chutney | Palakoora Pachadi

Serve with rice and a dollop of ghee

Andhra Pradesh is well known for its chutneys, and for the love that Andhra people have for their chutneys. Called pachadi, the chutneys are not to be confused with the pachadi dishes from Tamil Nadu, which are generally yoghurt based like a raita. An Andhra Pachadi is more like a Tamil Thogayal. I hope that clears the confusion.

Andhra Pachadis are ground vegetables and spices, made to be eaten with rice and a dollop of ghee. But you can use them in sandwiches, stirred into yoghurt, or with snacks, chapatti, idli or dosa.

This is a Spinach Andhra Pachadi, and you have never tasted spinach so delicious. Spicy from red and green chillies, and cooling from the ground sesame seeds, it all comes together into an awesome dish.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Milky Brinjal Chutney, Andhra Eggplant Chutney, Spinach Thogayal, Green Chutney, Red Radish Chutney, and Coriander and Coconut Chutney.

You can see our Tamil Pachadi dishes here and here, and our Andhra Pachadi dishes here. Or browse all of our Spinach recipes and our Indian dishes. You might also like to explore our Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Andhra Spinach Chutney | Palakoora Pachadi”

Sampangi Pitlai

We are working through the different types of Poritha Kuzhambu, where the spice paste is fried in ghee before being ground. There are Poritha Kuzhambus, Poritha Koottu and Pitlai, Gothsu and Masiyal. They can be with and without tamarind, stuffed full of vegetables or just one or two.

This is our second Pitlai, Sampangi, which traditionally has drumsticks as part of the vegetable mix, with 3 or 4 others. The spice mix used in this recipe differs from the first Pitlai recipe – it does not include coriander or channa dal (Bengal Gram), but does include peppercorns. The chillies are ground in the paste rather than left whole in the tadka. I have been explaining to some people recently how subtle differences from recipe to recipe results in a different dish, and the taste difference is remarkable IF we allow our tastebuds the time to register. This isn’t so common in our society, we eat so fast, but in India these differences are important. The other key difference in this recipe is the variety of vegetables, as many as 4 can be used in this dish, rather than 1 or 2.

Are you looking for similar recipes? You must definitely try this Pitlai, and Amaranth Greens Soup/Pitlai, as well as Poritha KootuPoritha Kootu with Simple Spices, Onion Kothsu with Tamarind and Dal Tadka.

Are you looking for all of our other Pitlai recipes? They are here. And browse other Poritha Kuzhambu and Poritha Kootu dishes. Explore all of our Kuzhambu recipes and all of our Sambar dishes. You might like to browse our Indian recipes and our Indian Essentials. Or simple take some time to check out our Early Autumn collection.

Continue reading “Sampangi Pitlai”