Keerai Kootu (South Indian Spinach and Lentils)

Learn how to cook spinach and lentils – the south Indian way.

Keerai Kootu (South Indian Spinach and Lentils) | Keera Masiyal Recipe | Foodomania

This keerai kootu features in our meals at least once a week. With all the health benefits spinach boasts of, and the fact that none of us really like eating green leafy vegetables raw, it seemed a good idea to make a simple dish that goes well with another one of our staples – rice!

Blanched spinach flavored with coconut, cumin and chilli and mixed with lentils. A simple enough curry / side-dish to put together in under 30 minutes.   

Keerai Kootu (South Indian Spinach and Lentils) | Keera Masiyal Recipe | Foodomania

Below is a short video on how to make keerai kootu –

Keerai Kootu Recipe (South Indian Spinach and Lentils) – Printable Recipe

Keerai Kootu (South Indian Spinach and Lentils)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This keerai kootu is a very typical south Indian way of cooking spinach with lentils
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: South Indian
Ingredients
  • 1 lb (450 grams) Spinach Leaves
  • ¼ cup split Yellow Mung Bean (pasi or payatham paruppu)
  • 1.5 Tablespoon Salt (adjust to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon Hing / Asafetida
  • ½ cup Water
For grinding
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Coconut
  • 3-4 Dry Red Chilli (adjust per spice required)
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds (jeera)
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (optional)
For tempering
  • 2 teaspoons Vegetable Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Urad Dal (black gram)
Instructions
  1. Cook the lentils separately such that they have a bite to them. You can cook in a pressure cooker or a pan.
  2. Wash the spinach leaves well and chop them roughly.
  3. Add the spinach to a pot / pan. Add ½ cup water. Add salt and asafetida (hing).
  4. Mix well and cook the spinach on medium heat for 5-10 minutes (until the leaves have wilted).
  5. Meanwhile, roast coconut, red chilli, black pepper. (optional - both ways is fine).
  6. Add the mix (coconut, black peppercorns, dry red chili) with cumin seeds to a food processor. Grind to form a coarse mixture. Add the cooked spinach leaves to the mixer. (Do not discard the water).
  7. Grind to a coarse paste. Add the spinach-coconut paste back to the pan with the leftover water.
  8. Add the cooked lentils and mix well. Bring it to a boil. Taste and add more salt if required.
  9. For tempering – heat oil in a pan and add the Urad Dal. Fry until it turns golden brown. Add the seeds to the spinach and lentils. Mix well.
  10. Serve with rice or roti, It tastes best with rice and rasam or veththa kuzhambu or sambar.
To Store
  1. You can cover and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat before you want to serve teh keerai kootu

Keerai Kootu Recipe (South Indian Spinach and Lentils) – Step by step pictures

Wash the spinach leaves well and chop them roughly. Cook the lentils separately.
Keerai Kootu (South Indian Spinach and Lentils) | Keera Masiyal Recipe | Foodomania

Add the spinach to a pot / pan. Add 1/2 cup water. Add salt and asafetida (hing). Mix well and cook the spinach on medium heat for 5-10 minutes (until the leaves have wilted).
Keerai Kootu (South Indian Spinach and Lentils) | Keera Masiyal Recipe | Foodomania

Meanwhile, roast coconut, red chilli, black pepper. (optional). Add the mix with cumin seeds to a food processor.
Keerai Kootu (South Indian Spinach and Lentils) | Keera Masiyal Recipe | Foodomania

Give it a blitz to forma coarse mixture. Add the cooked spinach leaves to the mixer. (Do not discard the water).
Keerai Kootu (South Indian Spinach and Lentils) | Keera Masiyal Recipe | Foodomania

Grind to a coarse paste. Add the spinach-coconut paste back to the pan with the leftover water. Add the cooked lentils and mix well. Bring it to a boil. Taste and add more salt if required.
Keerai Kootu (South Indian Spinach and Lentils) | Keera Masiyal Recipe | Foodomania

For tempering – heat oil in a pan and add the Urad Dal. Fry until it turns golden brown. Add the seeds to the spinach and lentils. Mix well.
Keerai Kootu (South Indian Spinach and Lentils) | Keera Masiyal Recipe | Foodomania

Serve with rice or roti, It tastes best with rice and rasam or veththa kuzhambu or sambar.

tamil keerai kootu recipe

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