Palak/Keerai Molagutal or Kootu (Spinach-Lentil Gravy)

This one is quite a healthy dish leafy veggie with lentils – at the same time is really tasty too 🙂 It goes well with rice as well as rotis/chapattis. Even kids like the molagutal – you may further reduce the chillies for them. 

One of my fav combis is cool curd rice with piping hot molagutal … comfort food! Another interesting way to have it could be rotis torn and dunked into a bowl of this molagutal with a dollop of cold curd/yoghurt on top.  


Palak/Keerai (Spinach): 1 bundle
Coconut: 1 tablespoon
Green chillies: 1 roughly chopped
Tuvar dal (Yellow pigeon peas split): ¾ cup
Udad dal (Black gram skinned and split): 2½ teaspoons
Dry red chillies: 2
Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
Black pepper powder: a pinch
Asafoetida (hing): a pinch
Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
Turmeric: ¼ teaspoon
Rice flour: 1 teaspoon
Oil: 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste


  1. Clean the spinach and wash well several times. Soak in water with a pinch of turmeric for at least 15 minutes – to kill germs. Then drain the leaves and chop them fine.
  2. Cook the tuvar dal in 2.5-3 cups of water in a pressure cooker for about 4-5 whistles or till mushy consistency.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed pan, roast two teaspoons of udad dal, one dry red chilly, and cumin seeds till the dal is lightly brown. Set aside to cool in a plate.
  4. In the same pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds and remaining udad dal. Fry till the mustard seeds pop and the dal begins to brown. Add the asafetida and sauté.
  5. Add two cups of water and bring to a boil. Include the turmeric powder in the water.
  6. When the water boils, add the spinach leaves and cook till mushy. You can roughly mash with the back of the ladle or a hand blender to a coarse consistency. DH and I prefer to leave the spinach leaves as is without mashing.
  7. In the meanwhile, grind the coconut and green chilly with the roasted dal, red chilly, and cumin seeds to a coarse paste in the chutney jar of a mixer. I don’t have the mixer, so have an alternative method for the people who don’t have one. I grind the dry components in a coffee/spice grinder to a coarse powder. Then, this powder, coconut, and green chilly can be ground with a couple of tablespoons of water in a blender/food processor.
  8. When the spinach is done, add the ground coconut-spice paste to it. Also, mash the cooked tuvar dal slightly and mix in as well.
  9. In a bowl, dissolve the rice flour in water to a smooth paste and add to the spinach.
  10. Also, add salt and the black pepper powder. Mix the ingredients well. Allow to boil and cook for 5-7 minutes more so that the flavors blend.
  11. palak-kootu-in-kadhai.jpg

  12. Turn off the heat and enjoy hot with rice or rotis. Paruppu thogayal or thuvayal is a wonderful accompaniment to the molagutal. The recipe follows soon.
  13. palak-kootu-served.jpg kootu-rice-thogayal.jpg


One Response to “Palak/Keerai Molagutal or Kootu (Spinach-Lentil Gravy)”

  1. Romba naalaa irukkunna,Paruppu thogayal eppo ??

    Bon appiti

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