This monsoon, fill up your plate with all those greens

If you are thinking about healthy eating, Karkidakam is the month to try it. A few recipes here make use of leaves used in daily cooking, which are high in nutritive value.

Methi Potato Curry

Ingredients

Potatoes – 12

Methi leaves – 4 bunches

Turmeric powder – Quarter tsp

Red chilli powder – Half tsp

Salt – To taste

Sunflower oil – 4 tbsp

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

White sesame seeds – 4 tbsp

Coriander leaves – 3 sprigs

Method

Boil potatoes and peel the skin. Heat two teaspoons of oil in a frying pan, add cumin seeds. When it splutters, add potatoes and saute for a few minutes. Add washed and chopped methi leaves, salt, red chilli powder and mix well and cover with a lid for two minutes. Cook over moderate flame. When the water gets absorbed completely, turn off the fire.

Heat three tablespoons of oil and fry sesame seeds until they turn brown. Stir in the methi potato currry and saute for a few more seconds. Transfer to a bowl. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with chappathi or naan.

Palak Paneer

Ingredients

Crumbled paneer – Half cup

Fried paneer pieces – Half cup

Grated cheese – Three-fourth cup

Spinach – Two bunches

Ginger – Half-inch piece

Green chillies – 4, chopped

Coriander powder, cumin powder and sugar – 1 tsp each

Red chilli powder – Half tsp

Onions – 3, chopped

Tomatoes – 5 cut into pieces

Garlic – 3 pods

Salt — To taste

A few slices of tomato

Oil – 2 tsp

Method

In a pan, put the washed and chopped spinach, a quarter of the tomato pieces, ginger, green chillies, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt. Cook for five minutes until the spinach becomes soft. Remove from heat. Mash to a paste with the crumbled paneer.

To make tomato gravy

Heat oil and fry onion and garlic until soft. Add the remaining three-fourths of the tomato pieces, red chilli powder, little salt, and fry for a few more minutes. When cooled, blend in a mixer adding 1 teaspoon of sugar.

To assemble: Spread the spinach mixture evenly in a greased oven dish. Spread paneer pieces evenly on top of the spinach mixture. Pour tomato gravy evenly on top. Arrange the tomato slices. Sprinkle grated cheese and bake at 180 degree C for 30 minutes. Serve hot with puris or parathas.

Amaranth Curry

Ingredients

Amaranth (cheera) – 1 small bunch

Drumstick leaves – A handful

Tur dal – 1 cup

Tamarind (pulp extracted) – A lemon sized ball

Turmeric powder – Quarter tsp

Rice powder – 1 tsp

Salt – To taste

Green chillies – 3 split

Cooking soda – A pinch

Fry and powder:

Oil – 1 tsp

Channa dal – 1 tsp

Urad dal – 1 tsp

Coriander seeds – One and a half tsp

Red chillies – 5

Grated coconut – Quarter cup

For seasoning:

Oil – 1 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Red chilli – 1, broken

Method

Wash and pressure cook tur dal adding just enough water and turmeric powder. Wash the greens in salt water and cut the amaranth leaves into fine bits (discarding the roots). Put the slit green chillies in a vessel, add greens, a pinch of cooking soda and boil for five minutes. Mash well and add the tamarind pulp. Add salt, turmeric powder and boil. Add the cooked tur dal and mix well. In one teaspoon oil fry the ingredients until the dal turns golden. Powder coarsely and add to the boiling mixture. Add rice flour (mixed with water) and salt and simmer and boil for a few minutes more. Remove from heat. Season with one teaspoon mustard seeds and one red chilli broken into pieces (in 1 tsp oil) and add to the gravy.

Coriander Leaves Powder

Ingredients

Coriander – 2 bunches

Channa dal – Quarter cup

Urad dal – Quarter cup

Red chillies – Half cup

Grated copra – Half cup

Salt – To taste

Asafoetida – Quarter tsp

Tamarind – Gooseberry-sized

Jaggery – 2 tsp

Method

Wash, clean and remove the roots and thick stem from the coriander leaves. Spread over a cloth and keep in the shade to dry. In 1 tsp oil, fry asafoetida, add urad dal, channa dal and red chillies. Fry till dal is golden in colour, add the grated copra and fry well. Remove from the fire, add tamarind, salt, jaggery, coriander leaves and mix well. Powder all the above ingedients together in a mixer. Store in a dry air-tight container. Serve with dosa and idli.

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