Monday, May 27, 2013

Kadala Paruppu Keerai Kootu - Bengal Gram and Chard leaves in a coconut masala

I have sung praises of growing Chard and this spring was no different. I planted some towards the end of March and a week ago I was able to get enough to make dinner. They are hardy and not that susceptible to cold so a late May frost did not hurt them much. I grow mine in containers. Leafy greens do not need full sun, so if all you have is partial sun it is quite enough to get them going.

While a stir fry and sambhar would have been just as good I wanted to try something different. I was talking to my mom and she suggested a kootu - a typical dal/lentil based dish with a masala made with coconut, cumin and green chilies.

Though a kootu can be typically made with any of the lentils/dal I talked about. I wanted to try using channa dal/kadalai paruppu to make this kootu. Chard is one of those green that you really can't go wrong and the combination turned out to be irresistible.

Health Fact:
Chana Dal or Bengal Gram dal has a very low glycemic index and it is good for those suffering from diabetes or anybody who likes to keep their blood sugar low.
Ingredients Preparation Time:10 minutes
Cooking Time:25 minutes
  1. 1 1/2 cups of kadalai paruppu (bengal gram/channa dal)
  2. 3 cups of packed Swiss Chard leaves (substitute with any green of choice)
  3. 3 tbsp of chopped shallots or onions
  4. seasonings - mustard seeds, cumin seeds a few, curry leaves, asfoetida a pinch
  5. salt to taste
  6. 2 tsp of oil or ghee
  7. a handful of chopped coriander leaves
  8. 1/4 tsp of roasted and powdered methi seeds
  9. Masala Paste
  10. 3 tbsp of grated fresh or frozen coconut
  11. 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
  12. 6-8 green chilies
  13. Blend the above to a fairly smooth paste, add a 1/2 tbsp of water.
  1. Cook the bengal gram with 2 1/2 cups of water till it is just cooked, the lentils should maintain their shape. If using a pressure cooker cook on high for 1 whistle.
  2. In a kadai or wide mouthed pan heat oil and when hot add the seasonings, first the asfoetida, cumin seeds and then the mustard seeds, when it starts to pop add the curry leaves followed by the onions and saute till the onions are translucent.
  3. Now add the greens and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked dal along with any water and let it come to a boil.
  5. Lower the heat and add the blended masala paste and if required half a cup of water (if it is too thick) and salt. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes after it starts bubbling. Sprinkle the methi seeds powder and turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
  6. Serve with rice or chapathis. Taste great with both.


  1. Home grown greens, wow thats wonderful..Kootu looks inviting.

  2. Looks so good, nothing quite like growing your own vegetables!!


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