If there’s one vegetable that’s eaten without a fuss in our house, its got be spinach. Spinach makes an appearance on our menu at least once a week. This vegan spinach kootu is a simple dish that doesn’t call for complicated ingredients and can be made in 30 minutes. It can be served as a side with a curry like sambar or can be eaten mixed with rice. We like ours mixed with rice. Either way, this is a hearty, healthy comfort food.
6oz spinach, finely chopped
1/2 cup moong dal
2 tablespoons grated coconut
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
6 whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon split black gram
1 dried red chili
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon uncooked rice soaked in a tablespoon of water
2 small Thai green chilies
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1. Place chopped spinach in a saucepan and add 1/2 cup of water and salt. Let the spinach cook on medium flame for 10 minutes or until it completely wilts and raw smell goes away. It is important to add salt at this stage to retain the green color of spinach.
2. Pressure cook the moong dal along with turmeric and a cup of water for 3 whistles. Once the pressure is completely released, mash the dal well and add to the cooked spinach.
3. Grind together coconut, green chilies, cumin seeds, rice soaked in water and black peppercorns to a smooth paste by adding little water.
4. Add the ground paste to the spinach-lentil mixture and bring it to a boil.
5. In a separate pan, heat oil and when oil is hot, add mustard, black gram dal and dried red chili. Let it cook for 20 seconds. Add this to the spinach kootu and mix well.