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).
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.