Pasalaikeerai Porial

Green leafy vegetables are one of the few rich nutrition sources accessible even to the poor. We see other vegetables’ prices fluctuate between tens and even hundreds due to seasons, supply, political factors and so on; while the green leafy vegetables prices stay almost intact, we only might avoid them during rainy days for hygiene reason. Though low in cost, they are rich in iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin A, phosphorous and magnesium; there are ample of local varieties available in different places and multiple recipes through which we can relish them . This one is a simple and typical keerai porial recipe we’ve eaten as  kids with pappu-chochi (kid’s way of calling dal rice).

Serves:  2

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

Cooking Time:  10 minutes


1.      Spinach (I used pasalai keerai) – 2 cups chopped
2.    Oil – ½ tsp
3.    Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
4.    Onion – 1
5.     Garlic – 5 cloves
6.    Salt to taste
7.     Dry red chili – 1 large
8.    Pepper crushed – a pinch (Optional)


Step 1: Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds, add broken chili and sauté chopped onion and garlic in it with a pinch of salt until the onion is soft and starts to brown.

Step 2: Add the chopped spinach and stir well; add adequate salt and cook covered for few minutes.

Step 3: Open the lid, stir and cook until the greens are dry outside but still soft and moist inside. Sprinkle pepper at this stage if you want. Pepper can be substituted for chili heat or added just for flavour.

Step 4: Serve with sambar, rasam rice or dal-ghee rice as well.


*Green leafy vegetables require less salt by nature, they are rich in sodium and also they become less in quantity after cooking; so be careful while adding salt. I was given this lesson by amma during my earlier kitchen days yet I learnt only from experience.

Sattvic Cauliflower

I know the name sounds comical; but then I couldn’t think of a name that would be more appropriate for my blanched, mildly seasoned and sautéed cauliflower florets. I always like my cauliflower just cooked, as in it should still be firm in appearance and soft in texture. Sattvic foods are those that instil sattva guna in us. 
Ok… for those who’ve not come across this stuff: According to Bhagavad Gita, there are three gunas namely sattva guna, tamas guna and rajas guna each of which have their own traits and are there inside every being in different proportions. We would require them in varied scopes depending on our profession, personality and so on. Though these gunas are not determined merely by our food intake, food does have an influence in arousing these gunas in us. Generally, Sattvic foods are fresh fruits and vegetables that are either uncooked or mildly cooked and minimally spiced; Tamasic foods are fatty, meaty, and stale; Rajas foods are spicy, fermented, sour and pickled. Spiritual guidelines encourage us to maximize the sattvic guna while maintaining the other two just at the minimum required levels in order to lead a happy and healthy life.
Serves:  2
Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Cooking Time:  5 minutes
1.      Cauliflower – 1 small
2.    Salt to taste
3.    Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
4.    Oil – 1 tsp
5.     Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
6.    Asafoetida – 1 pinch
7.     Chili powder – ½ tsp
Step 1: Cut the cauliflower into bite sized florets and clean in warm salted water.
Step 2: Blanch the florets in salted water by adding a pinch of turmeric to it for approximately 2 minutes and immediately drain using a mesh and pour some cold water on the vegetable to prevent further cooking.
Step 3: Heat oil in a pan, splutter cumin seeds in it, sprinkle the asafoetida, red chili powder and toss the blanched cauliflower in it. Adjust salt if required.
Step 4: Serve it as-is like salad or as complement with a rice dish.

Knol Khol Sabji

I have never tasted any recipe made from knol khol other the sambar my mom makes. I prepare sambar very rarely as dal replaces it in our household. I was missing knol khol for some time and I tried a dry sabji with it to have with phulkas. It came out well though I prefer sambar to it; but if I have to make this vegetable with roti then sabji is the choice. While shopping, the choice of knol khol is crucial, too mature ones will have spongy and chewy inside which don’t taste well.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes



1.     Knol khol – 4
2.     Green chili – 1
3.     Ginger – 1” piece
4.     Oil – 1 tbsp
5.     Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
6.     Coriander seeds – 1 ½ tbsp.
7.     Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
8.     Asafoetida – 1 pinch
9.     Chili powder – 1 tsp
10. Salt to taste
11. Kasoori methi – 1 tsp
12.Garam Masala – 1 tsp
13.Amchoor salt – 1/4 tsp


Step 1: Peel and chop knol khol into small cubes as in the picture below. Chop green chilies as well.

Step 2: Heat oil in a non-stick pan and splutter cumin seeds in it, sprinkle asafoetida, add turmeric, coriander powder and sauté green chilies and ginger in it.

Step 3: Add the cubed vegetable and add enough salt & chili powder.

Step 4: Sprinkle some water, mix well and close with a lid.
Step 5: Cook in simmered stove and stir occasionally until the vegetable is tender.
Step 6: Crush the kasoori methi into the saji, add garam masala & amchoor salt and mix with the sabji. Cook uncovered for 2 minutes and turn off heat.

Step 7: Serve hot with phulkas.

Bottle Gourd Sabji

Yuvaraj (my brother) is fond of this sabji that I had made when he visited us once; he was surprised because probably he had not eaten anything from me that good before my marriage. My mom used to tell it is so gratifying to serve my brother as he tastes well and appreciates dishes unlike anyone else in our home. I realized this truly when I started cooking; hearing about the food (be it appreciation or criticism) from the one who tastes it is an honor for the one who cooked it. I adapted this recipe from; however the original recipe includes potato.

Serves: 2 -3
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
1.      Bottled gourd or lauki – 1 medium
2.    Tomato – 2
3.    Green chili – 1
4.    Curry leaves – 1 sprig
5.     Coriander leaves for garnishing
6.    Oil – ½ tbsp
7.     Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
8.    Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
9.    Asafoetida – 1 pinch
10.            Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
11.   Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
12. Chili powder – 1 tsp
13. Coriander powder – 1 tsp
14. Cumin powder – ¼ tsp
15.  Garam masala – 1 tsp
16. Salt to taste

Step 1: Peel and cube the bottle gourd, chop the tomatoes and green chili.
Step 2: Heat oil in a pan splutter mustard & cumin seeds, sprinkle asafoetida & turmeric, add green chili & curry leaves, add ginger garlic paste and sauté tomato in it.
Step 3: Add chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and sauté for a minutes and then add cubed bottle gourd.
Step 4: Pour a ladle of water & add enough salt; mix and close to cook in simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 5: Open the lid, check if the vegetable is cooked, and add garam masala and mix well.
Step 6: Garnish with coriander leaves and serve it with phulkas.

Potato Cubes

No more pressure cooking or long wait or self-control to relish your favorite potato fry; Potato Cubes renders a simple yet tasty and healthy recipe. I am not mentioning this as ‘fry’ though it involves the frying process technically because it takes very less oil and can go well with phulkas in addition to being a classic combination for sambar/ rasam/ curd rice. This had become my favorite potato dish since I ate it in childhood from one of our relatives; my mom had learnt it for my sake and now it is my husband’s favorite too.
Serves: 2
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 5-8 minutes
1.      Potatoes – 2
2.    Oil – ½ tbsp.
3.    Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
4.    Curry powder – 2 tbsp
5.     Salt to taste
6.    Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Step 1: Peel and chop the potatoes into small cubes as in the picture. (I collect the chopped potatoes in clean water to retain color and drain them well before adding in the recipe)
Step 2: Heat oil in a non-stick pan preferably and crackle cumin seeds in it.
Step 3: Keep the stove simmered, add asafoetida, curry powder and salt making sure you don’t burn them; let it foam.
Step 4: Add the potato cubes and toss well to coat them with masala.
Step 5: Cover the lid and cook for 4 minutes in simmer.
Step 6: Open the lid and toss it and cook on medium flame for another 2 minutes to get slightly crisp outer edges.
Step 7: Serve with rice or phulkas.
*Make sure you use oil just enough to crackle cumin and foam the dry masala, excess oil will not be absorbed by potato and it sticks to your hand while eating.