Arai keerai masiyal (amaranth leaves variety) : Arai keerai as it is called in Tamil, is predominantly used in South India. Its one of the amaranth leaves variety, though I’m not sure of the exact English equivalent. It’s an excellent source of calcium and helps to improve haemoglobin level. Because of its health benefit, it could be included routinely in our diet.
Here is a simple arai keerai masiyal preparation that doesn’t take much of your time. It tastes really good when mixed with steamed rice.
1 bunch arai keerai(remove stem and use leaves alone)
3-4 tblspn boiled tur dal (add pinch of turmeric as you pressure cook)
5-6 garlic pods
7-8 small onions or 1/4 of big onion ( finely chopped)
1/2 medium sized tomato (finely chopped)
1 inch tamarind
3-4 red chillies
1 tspn cummin seeds
1/2 tspn mustard seeds
Pinch of hing
Salt to taste
- Heat 2 tblspn oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds to splutter.
- Then add the cummin seeds, red chillies, garlic pods, hing and then the onions.
- Sauté until the onions become translucent.
- Add the tomatoes, tamarind, salt and the arai keerai.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes in medium flame until the leaves shrink.
- Once the leaves shrink, add the boiled tur dal and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle water if needed.
- Switch off the stove. While the keerai is still hot, mash it well to get a coarse paste consistencency.
- Serve hot with steamed rice or roti.
- Instead of tur dal, moong dal could be used.
- Dal is optional. Without dal, the same preparation tastes good.