Here I am, with the next recipe in the New Year. I love paruppu usili period. I have already posted 2-3 usili recipes using different vegetables like Kothavarangai, Cabbage and Vazhapoo. Among these my favourite was Cabbage. But now I have 2 favorites. Cabbage and this Vendhaya Keerai Usili.
In our house, I had never seen my mother or MIL prepare usili using keerai. A couple of days back, I tasted this usili, prepared by my friend. It was new to me. And I just loved it. I also came to know that usili using murungai keerai is also quite popular. Last week I tried this and it was a big hit at home. My kids also loved it. The flavour of vendhaya keerai with the spiced steamed lentils is just too good. It tastes best as an accompaniment with Vatha Kuzhambu or with Mor Kuzhambu. If you have not tried this before, then do give it a try. I am sure you will love it.
Serves 3 to 4
What you’ll need
- Methi Leaves/Vendhaya Keerai – 1 Big Bunch
- Tuar Dal – 1/3 Cup
- Kadala Paruppu – 1/3 cup
- Dry Red Chilly – 2 or 3
- Asafoetida – a generous pinch
- Salt to taste
- To temper
- Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Urad Dal – 1 tsp
- Red Chilly – 1
- Wash and soak the dals for atleast 30 mins along with the dried red chillies.
- After 30 mins, drain the water completely, and grind into a coarse paste with red chillies, salt, few curry leaves and asafoetida. Do not add water.
- Grease an idly plate with few drops of oil, take a lemon sized ball of the ground dal paste and pat it on the idly moulds. Repeat this until all the dal paste is used up.
- Steam this in a cooker/steamer for 5 to 8 minutes or until the dal is cooked. To check, insert a knife through the dal discs, the knife should come out clean.
- Let this cool very well. Pulse it again in the mixie, the dal should crumble and resemble a coarse powder.
- Meanwhile, clean and wash the methi leaves/vendhaya keerai, I used only the leaves and very tender stock. I had about 2 heaped and tightly packed cup of leaves. Chop them roughly.
- Heat a Kadai with oil, temper with mustard seeds, once it splutters, add the urad dal and fry till the dal turns golden, add the red chilly and fry till it turns crisp.
- Now add the chopped leaves and saute till the leaves get wilted. Add a little salt.
- Next add the ground dal and mix everything very well. Keep sautéing for 5 to 6 minutes or until everything mixes well and resembles a crumble.
Delicious Usili ready.
- Drain water completely from the dals before grinding.
- Also grind the dals coarsely without adding any water.