Monday, August 10, 2015

Pulicha keerai masiyal

Pulicha keerai masiyal or Gongura pappu as it is called in Andra, is a very famous and easy delicacy of south.  The Pulicha Keerai that I am referring is actually the Sorrel leaves in English, Gongura in Telugu and Pitwa in Hindi.  Normally it is much preferred and used in many Andra dishes than any other South Indian State.  The reason being its sharp tangy taste.  The recipe has to balance out the tangy taste or the whole dish will be ruined.  A keerai pot called the 'Kal Chatti' in tamil is used to smash the greens and the other ingredients to a fine gravy consistency.  We can add hot water to adjust the consistency of the gravy.  Now a days, we just simply use the Pressure cooker and smash it with the help of the wooden stick with a flat head known as the 'Maththu'.

This much neglected green has got Vitamin A and Calcium among others.  It helps with anemia, and helps improve eyesight.  The tangy taste is due to the Vitamin C, which is also present in other tangy fruits like, Lemon, Orange or Tomato.  Do check the websites to know the abundant health benefits this wonderful green has to offer.

I buy this greens by asking the greens vendor who delivers right at our door steps.  She doesn't sell these usually, but if we order before hand she might bring a couple of bundles.  For our small family, we didn't require more than half the bundle.  So here is how we make it.


Ingredients:

  • Pulicha Keerai - 1/2 bundle (around 2 cups. tightly packed)
  • Thuvar Dal - 1 cup
  • Small onions or Shallots - a handful
  • Green chillies - 4 or home made Chilli powder - 2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic - 5 to 6 cloves
  • Water as required
Method:

First pick only the leaves and discard the stems.  The stems, though may appear tender will not cook perfectly and you may end up with fiber when chewing.  Wash the leaves thoroughly and set them aside.  In a pressure cooker add the leaves and the green chillies or the  Chilli powder.  Cook it well for about 4-5 whistles.  If you are using the green chillies, they will cook along with the leaves.  But the Chilli powder may still have some of that raw smell.

Transfer this cooked greens to a Kal chatti if available or just proceed with the pressure cooker itself.  Smash it well with the maththu till all the leaves start to look like one whole mass.

Pressure cook the Dal with the garlic cloves.  Set aside.

Next in a wide pan or a kadai, add some oil.  When the oil heats up, add some mustard seeds.  When they crackle, add the greens with chilli and let it cook for about a minute.  If you had used Chilli powder, allow it to cook till the raw smell of the powder is gone.  Then add the Dal to the greens.  Mix everything together.  Turn off the stove.  Add the salt at last accordingly. 

This Masiyal goes well with most of the side dishes or just plain Appalam.  This will taste good not just with plain rice but also with Chapatti or Paranthas.

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