February 1, 2006

Keerai Mologootal - Spinach Dal (Kerala)

Vimala Jayaraman

One of our favorites and it is on Ramesh's request list every visit. This Dal is usually accompanied by Vendakai or Lal Petha Pachadi (Okra or Red Pumpkin Relish.

1. Wash, cut and boil ( 2-3 minutes) about 250gms of Spinach along with a pinch of turmeric powder. Drain and mash roughly with a ladle or blend in a mixer for less than half a minute.

2. Boil (pressure cook) 100gms of Toor (Arhar) Dal. Mash well and set aside.

3. In a kadhai add a little oil and lightly fry two small dried red chillies, one tsp of udad dal and one tsp of jeera.

4. Grind 1 1/2 tbl spns of coconut, 1/2 a tsp of raw rice (gives the dal some thickness) along with the red chillies, udad dal and jeera.

5. Mix this with the roughly ground Spinach and boil for half a minute. Add salt to taste.

6. Make a tadka of 1/2 a tsp of mustard seeds and 1/2 a tsp of udad daal and add to the Spinach dal. Put some fresh curry leaves at the end.

7. Serve with rice and a pachadi.
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Vendakai Pachadi - Okra Relish

Vimala Jayaraman

We had the mologootal with this pachadi for lunch today. Truly outstanding when Ramesh's mum makes it.

1. Wash and cut 200gms of Bhindi into small bits.

2. Lightly fry 1/2 a tsp of mustard seeds and a 1 tsp of udad dal. Add the bhindi, 1/4 tsp haldi, one red chilli and one green chilli. Cook for 5-7 minutes or till the bhindi is almost cooked (till it loses its gooeyness)

3. Soak a lemon sized piece of tamarind in hot water for 5 minutes. Extract the juice and strain.

4. Add this to the bhindi and boil till it becomes tender.

5. Grind 1 1/2 tbl spns of fresh coconut along with 4 small green chillies and 1/2 a tsp of raw rice. Add to the bhindi. Add salt to taste.

6. At the end add 1 tsp of jaggery and adjust salt.

Eat along with rice, mologootal and Papad or Chips.

As a variation you could have Parangikai (Lal Petha) Pachadi - the only change required is that in step 5 above you could add 1/2 a tsp of mustard seeds when grinding.