November 23, 2011

Palak/Spinach Usili

I was suddenly tempted to try this paruppu usili dish out using spinach as I was bored of cooking the same old spinach preparations in South Indian style.  I cannot recall having eaten the spinach in this manner, but when we have spinach in dals, adais and vadas,  I thought why not in Usili.  And here I was giving a pat on my back for this little innovation after the dish was made as I could not get enough of it.

3/4 cup toor dal and chana dal together combined  equally or in 2:1 ratio
5 ounces of spinach leaves(trimmed)
3-4 chillies long variety
salt to taste
pinch of turmeric powder
pinch of hing powder
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal

Soak the dals along with the red chilies for at least two hours.  Drain the water completely and grind into a coarse paste with salt, turmeric, red chilies and hing.  I also added about a table spoon of oil while grinding.  Grease a container in which you are going to cook the paste.  Spread the paste evenly and steam cook it for 15 minutes. Let it cook and break the cooked paste so that there are no lumps.  In the meanwhile, cook the spinach with a pinch of salt till it wilts.  Do not add any water.

Take about 2 tablespoon of oil in a pan and splutter the mustard and urad dal.  Add the dal mixture and cook on medium flame till you begin to get the smell and it begins to brown.  Add the spinach and cook further till it mixes well with the dal and all the moisture is removed.

This is best when eaten with mor kuzhambu rice!!!

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