Palak keerai/Spinach Masiyal

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Palakkeerai/Spinach Masiyal

Spinach like other dark greens is an excellent source of beta-carotene, a powerful disease-fighting antioxidant that has been shown, among other things, to reduce the risk of developing cataracts. It fights heart disease and cancer as well. As a dark, leafy green, spinach possesses several important phytochemicals, including lutein, which helps prevent age-related macular degeneration. Spinach also contains lipoic acid, which helps antioxidant vitamins C and E regenerate. It’s tasty whether you serve it fresh or cooked. Either way, it can be included in dishes without adding hardly any calories.

My daughter started eating spinach after watching “Popeye the Sailor man”~the spinach-eating sailor who would eat spinach, which would instantly restore and amplify his strength to an even greater level.

She eats Spinach in any preparation I make with no complaints.

Athai made ‘Keerai Masiyal’ (Keerai is the tamil word for greens and Masiyal means 'to mash') with most of the Greens she could buy from the street vendors in Chennai. The street vendor’s voice of “Keeraiiii…” sprung her out of the house and she raced through the gate, not to miss him. She made different varieties of Greens twice a week. I have followed her recipe to make “Spinach Masiyal.”

Athai used the claypot to cook the Keerai and mashed the keerai with a round Wooden spoon called the Matthu.

When Indira mentioned she got the claypot at a local grocery shop called Apna Bazar, I bought one the next day. The taste is totally different when cooked in a claypot.

Ingredients : Shallots, Garlic, Tamarind, Green Chillies, Tomato, Paruppu and Cumin

List of ingredients:

  1. 4 cups chopped spinach
  2. 2 tablespoons thuvaram paruppu/thur dhal
  3. 3 green chillies
  4. lemon sized tamarind
  5. 1 teaspoon cumin
  6. ¼ of a tomato
  7. 4 to 5 shallots
  8. 3 to 4 pods garlic
  9. salt to taste.

For thallipu/seasoning:
  1. ½ teaspoon mustard
  2. ½ teaspoon ullutham paruppu/urid dhal
  3. 2 red chillies broken
  4. a pinch asafoetida
  5. a piece of garlic

  1. Cook the thuvaram paruppu/thur dhal. When cooked strain the water and keep aside. Wash, clean and chop the Spinach.
  2. In a claypot, cook the ingredients except the spinach in half a cup of water.
  3. When the shallots turn soft add the spinach and simmer until the leaves just begin to wilt, about five minutes.
  4. When the spinach is warm enough, add cooked thuvaram paruppu/thur dhal and mash with the Matthu or whip in a mixer for few seconds.
  5. Heat a tablespoon of oil a kadai/pan and add the seasoning .
  6. Add the seasoning and salt to the mashed spinach. Mix well.

Serve with Rice Or Chappati.


  1. really yummy post....i love it.

  2. mmm. spinach cooked in any method tastes delicious! Thanks for this new recipe. Love the picture too.

  3. im having a spinach bunch at home. will try this..

  4. love keeerai ur idea of making it in the mud vessel

  5. In India we still do Masyal in this way. Lucky u got it here ...

  6. ummm..I can almost imagine the taste of masiyal prepared in clay pot! yumm..

  7. Sarada..They are really pretty pictures.

    Check My Blog. Iam Happy to pass on Yummy Blog Award to You.

  8. Hi Sarada

    I had spinach at home and used ur recipe to make keerai masiyal. It was very delicious. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

  9. Hi Lavi,

    That`s so sweet of you. Thank you for considering me for Yummy Blog Award.
    Thank You.

  10. I love the fresh ingredients! I cannot wait to try this dish! Question--What is ullutham paruppu/urid dhal?

  11. Good receipe and also the picture shows the clear idea of ingredients quantity can be used. Thank you.


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