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Paati's Notebook

Arai Keerai Masiyal (Common Spinach Mash) - Delicious, Fibre-Rich, Vegan

World over, spinach seems to be a vegetable that’s the bane of every child’s life. In India, however, this leafy green takes on so many different forms that ultimately, everyone invariably stumbles across a version they love.

Girija Paati's Arai Keerai Masiyal or common spinach mash is one of our go-tos when time is short. This classic, South Indian spinach dish pairs perfectly with hot rice, paruppu (steamed dal) and ghee or just hot, fresh phulkas (chapattis). This delicious staple is surprisingly quick and simple to make.

Arai Keerai Masiyal (Common Spinach Mash) – GirijaPaati Style South Indian traditional vegetarian recipes from an Indian grandmother's kitchen

Serves: 4


  1. Green Chillies – 4 (broken)
  2. Asafoetida – small piece (size of a pea)
  3. Tamarind – small piece (size of a grape)
  4. Turmeric – a pinch
  5. Arai Keerai - Amaranthus Aritis / Common Spinach (2 bunches roughly chopped)
  6. Rock Salt – to taste
  7. Water – 1 glass

If you're short on time, just use 2 tbsp of Girija Paati's Milagai Curry as a base. It replaces ingredients 1-4 and adds some extra flavour. 

For the Seasoning (Talichi / Tadka):

  1. Coconut Oil – 2 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds
  3. Urad Dhal
  4. Dried Red Chillies


  1. Combine ingredients 1-7 in a pressure cooker, close and place on high flame. Place the whistle weight on top.
  2. Wait for 4 whistles and then lower the flame and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Switch off the flame and wait for the steam to settle before opening the cooker.
  4. Remove the excess water from the cooked spinach combination. Save the water.
  5. Roughly mash the spinach, so that all the flavours combine. Leave as a coarse mash. Don’t over mash.
  6. Pour the water back into the spinach and heat for 2 minutes till it comes to a boil.
  7. Heat the coconut oil and add ingredients 9-11 to create a tadka.
  8. Pour the hot tadka on top of the spinach.
  9. Stir before serving.
  10. Serve hot.

Download the printable recipe here.

Arai Keerai Masiyal (Common Spinach Mash) – GirijaPaati Style South Indian traditional vegetarian recipes from an Indian grandmother's kitchen

The Arai Keerai is high in both calcium and fibre, making it the perfect food for lactating mothers, children and elders in the family, actually for everyone. This recipe is also 100% vegan.

Find the recipe for the Kathirikkai Murungakkai Kara Curry (Brinjal Drumstick Spicy Curry), pictured above, here.

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