Cheera Parippu Curry / Spinach Dal Curry - A delicious main curry with rice in Kerala cuisine. Best with cabbage thoran / fish fry …
Main ingredient is 1 bunch spinach (cheera / palak)
¾ cup tur dal (Please measure in Indian standard measuring cup of 200 ml / 1cup / 8 oz capacity)
2 1/2 cups / 500 ml water (please measure in Indian standard measuring cup of 200 ml / 1 cup / 8 oz capacity)
1/2 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
Wash and soak dal in 2 1/2 cups of water in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes. Add oil, turmeric powder and pressure cook for 20 minutes or until done / soft (reduce the heat to medium after 2nd whistle and cook for 15 minute). Switch off the heat. Allow the cooker to cool naturally. Open the lid. Reserve dal stock (cooked dal water).
For coconut paste:
5 tablespoon (60 – 75 g) grated coconut
¾ teaspoon red chilli powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
4 shallots chuvannulli
1 teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
2 tablespoon water
Make a smooth paste of above ingredients in a small mixer bowl with 2 tablespoon water. Keep aside.
Wash and clean 1 bunch spinach. Drain out water thoroughly and chop finely.
In a bowl, mix boiled dal (along with stock / cooked dal water) and chopped spinach. Mix all the ingredients well. Do not add extra water. Cover with a tight lid and cook on a medium to low heat for 10 – 12 minutes until 3/4th cooked / almost done.
At this stage, add salt to taste (1/2 teaspoon), coconut paste and cook on a low heat for 5 – 7 minutes until well combined with dal and other ingredients. Switch off the heat.
2 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
6 curry leaves
1 red chilli, halved