Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Dwarf copperleaves lentils curry / Ponnanganni Keerai kootu / Spinach lentils curry

Ponnanganni keerai (tamil) is commonly known as Dwarf copperleaf or sessile joyweed in english. It has plenty of health benefits and its mostly included in ayurvedic medicines. The plant is used throughout Asia and Africa to treat a variety of disorders, including gastrointestinal problems, such as flatulence,  nausea and vomitting, headaches, bronchitis, asthma, vertigo and even hepatitis. It is considered to be one of those drugs which prevents and cures chronic diseases and rejuvenates the body. It also has health benefits for lactating mothers.

The leaves contain dietary fiber and eating this vegetable daily, is known to significantly reduce the postprandial blood glucose level.

My nephew is a picky eater and he eats only selected vegetable (mostly carrot) during lunch only at school. But if we make this keerai kootu (spinach lentils gravy), then he won't say no and his lunchbox will be clean that day.

Try out this keerai kootu recipe (spinach lentils gravy recipe) at your home and share your feedback in the comments section below. You can try the same recipe with any type of spinach varieties.

Ponnanganni keerai kootu
Keerai kootu


Spinach (I used ponnanganni keerai (tamil) / Dwarf copperleaf , sessile joyweed (english) - 1 bunch
moong dal - 3.5 tablespoon
salt - as needed
red chili powder - 1 tsp
coriander powder - 1.5 tsp
asafoetida - a pinch
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
cumin seeds - 2 tsp
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
urad dal - 2 tsp
small onions / pearl onions - 10 - 15 nos
dry red chili - 2
curry leaves - few
oil - 2 tsp
coconut pieces - 1/4 cup (around 40 ml)


  • Take out the leaves from its stem and wash it with plenty of water twice. 
  • wash moong dal in little water
  • In a pressure cooker, add the keerai, washed moong dal, 1 tsp of cumin seeds, salt, asafoetida, turmeric powder, coriander powder, 
  • add 2 cups of water [1 cup size= 150 ml] and pressure cook it for 3 whistles
  • grind coconut pieces and 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds to a fine paste
  • once the pressure is released, add the coconut paste and bring it to boil. 
  • Switch off the flame and transfer this mixture to a bowl
  • chop the small onions and dry red chili
  • heat oil in a vessel and add mustard seeds, urad dal, 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds, curry leaves. 
  • once it splutters, add red chili, chopped onions
  • once the onions become golden brown in color, switch off the flame and transfer this to the curry. 
  • Serve as a side dish for any gravies or it can be directly mixed with white rice and ghee. Tastes delicious. 
  • You can try the same recipe with any type of spinach varieties.

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