Keerai Masiyal (Mashed Spinach)

This is a very simple and modest dish which belongs to the traditional iyer cuisine. I have heard of keerai masiyal in other forms too; most of them have onions or tomatoes or both. The speciality of iyer cuisine is, there is minimal or no addition of onions and garlic. I have seen my mother adding onions only to potato curry. Somehow, I can't digest the idea of adding onions to beans or any other kind of curry. I feel the flavour of the main ingredient is lost and you feel the taste of onions prominently. Anybody who enjoys eating iyer cuisine would agree with me. It's just my choice of food and nothing to hurt anyone's sentiments.

Coming back to the keerai masiyal, back home it is done using amarnath leaves. Due to the unavailability of different kinds of greens, I have used spinach. This dish is simple and easy to make. With spinach, it is lot simpler since it gets cooked faster. Specially in US, we have spinach in microwaveable bags and doesnt require any cleaning at all. Yet, I wash it once for my satisfaction. This is an ideal side dish for vetha kozhambu though you can have this with anything you please. I have added coconut in my recipe since I love to bite into the crunchy pieces amidst the otherwise smooth gravy. You might avoid it if you don't relish the idea ; literally. :)


Cleaned and chopped spinach - 1 cup
Coconut pieces finely chopped - a handful (optional)
Coconut oil - 1 or 2 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Cumin - 1 tsp
Mustard - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Dry red chilli - a small piece
Salt to taste


1) Cook the spinach thoroughly and mash it with salt. You can even use a blender.
2) Heat coconut oil, fry the coconut pieces till light brown. Add rest of the ingredients. When the mustard pops, add the seasoning to already cooked spinach and enjoy.


Kitchen Flavours said...

Oh and simple...looks yum...

Chitra said...

looks simple.must try once!!


yes the simple yet delicious iyer recipe..