A typical south Indian meal even in it's simplest form and without any prior planing would be a well balanced one if one sticks to the basics. Rice served along with a lentil preparation, a vegetable dish and yogurt. Today's meal is such one - rice served with radish & lentil preparation aka mullangi sambhar and a spinach based side dish along with yogurt. I am sticking with the spinach dish for today's post as part of the blogging marathon.
Dry sautes based on greens is a traditional and common preparation in the southern states of India. And the version I am posting today is a typical one from Andhra brahmin households and hence the absence of onion or garlic in the recipe. Or for that matter, there is no coconut either since coconut is not used that extensively in Andhra cooking as the rest of it's neighboring states do. This healthy saute is kept on a drier side and the addition of cooked lentils up the nutrition value. I have used spinach but thotakoora / amaranth greens is the most commonly used greens while preparing the dish or a combination of spinach, amaranth greens and methi / fenugreek greens can be used as well. And the word 'podi' in the title doesn't represent any spice powder used in the recipe but is a reference to the 'dry' version of the preparation.
Ingredients: (Yield 3 servings)
2 bunches of spinach / 8 cups of chopped spinach (palakoora)
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. chana dal / split chickpeas
4 dried red chillies, each broken into 3 - 4 bits
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1/4 cup cooked toor dal / lentils
* Cook about 2 tbsp. toor dal until done but still holding the shape.
* Wash the spinach leaves and tender stalks thoroughly to get rid off the dirt if any present and spread them on a kitchen towel to air dry. Or pat them dry with a towel and then chop the leaves and stalks fine.
* Heat the oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, chana dal and chillies. When the dal starts to turn reddish, add turmeric powder and the chopped greens. Cook until the raw smell of the greens leave and any water released during the cooking evaporates.
* Add cooked lentils and salt. Mix well and cook for about a minute before turning off the stove.
* Serve warm with some hot, steamed rice.
This goes to Blogging marathon #58 under the theme 'Dry Sautees'. Check the link to see what other marathoners are cooking.