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Girija Paati’s Keerai Molagootal (Spinach Lentil Curry)

A classic Palakkad recipe, Molagootal has long been a favourite with Girija Paati’s family. Combining the freshness of spinach with protein-rich lentils, this traditional recipe brings together the Tamil and Keralite influences of the border town beautifully.

Keerai Molagootal (Spinach Lentil Curry) – GirijaPaati Style South Indian traditional vegetarian recipes from an Indian grandmother's kitchen www.girijapaati.com

Girija Paati’s Molagootal recipe can be made with either moong dhal or thoor dhal. This recipe brings together ingredients such as zeera and coconut that add a completely new taste dimension to the popular keerai kootu made in many Tamil households.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  1. Arai Keerai / Common Spinach – 1 bunch – finely chopped
  2. Paitham Paruppu / Moong Dhal – ¼ cup OR Thoor Dhal – ¼ cup
  3. Grated coconut – 1 tbsp
  4. Zeera – ½ tsp
  5. Dried Red Chillies – 4
  6. Turmeric – a pinch
  7. Urad Dhal – ¼ tbsp

For seasoning:

  1. Mustard Seeds
  2. Urad Dhal
  3. Dried Red Chilli – 1
  4. Coconut Oil - 1 tsp approximate

Method:

  1. In a cooker, add the chopped spinach, turmeric and ½ cup water. Close and add the whistle weight. Wait for 3 whistles and switch off
  2. In a cooker, add the paitham paruppu / moong dhal, turmeric powder and ½ cup water. Cook for 1 whistle
  3. Strain water from the cooked spinach. Set the water aside, mash the cooked spinach well and then add back the strained water
  4. Mash the dhal a bit, then add to the spinach
  5. In a kadai, heat a bit of oil fry the red chillies and urad dhal, remove and set aside
  6. Grind together the fried urad dhal, red chillies, zeera and coconut to a coarse paste
  7. Add the coarse paste to the spinach dhal. Cook the whole mixture and allow to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from flame
  8. Create a tadka of coconut oil, mustard seeds, urad dhal and dried red chillies
  9. Add the tadka on the spinach dhal and close
  10. Serve hot

We traditionally serve this with a vendakkai pachadi (ladies finger sweet and sour dish) and some crispy vadam on the side. We also love to add a dollop of Girija Paati’s spicy lime pickle onto the plate for a bit of heat.

Download the printable recipe here.

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Keerai Molagootal (Spinach Lentil Curry) – GirijaPaati Style South Indian traditional vegetarian recipes from an Indian grandmother's kitchen www.girijapaati.com

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