Kothu keerai / poriyal - Finely chopped greens stir fried with shredded coconut.
Click to see the photos of various amaranth....I like this site very much:)
Amaranth is a leafy green used just like spinach in Indian cooking.In this recipe I have used red spinach which resembles more like an Indian amaranth (thandu keerai / thandankeerai)
Why the name 'Kothu keerai' instead of poriyal or thovaran?
It is the name mom used to say. There is one more common recipe called 'keerai kadanchathu or keerai masiyal' (mashed version) with these greens.I love the way she minced those thandankeerai (amaranth) or the arakeerai. she used to chop them finely by placing the leaves over a broad stone called ammi (stone mortar) using a sharp knife. May be she could have longed for a larger cutting board, I guess:)she would chop them so finely with great care and I believe that the cutting style itself renders more taste to the keerai. Anyways I am not that great at artistic chopping. still tried my best to create it the original way so that my brothers may recollect mom's cuisine through this.
Here is a snap to enjoy the fresh looking Red spinach.
Thandan keerai (amaranth)/ red spinach - 1 bunch
Shallot / red onion (chopped) - 1/2 cup
garlic - 5 cloves
shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
mustard - 1/2 tsp
oil / ghee - 1 tbsp
cumin - 1/2 tsp
green chilly / dry red chilly - 2
Pluck the leaves and young stem alone. (We can use the matured stem in making sambar, so save them in fridge).
Wash and clean the greens in large amounts of water multiple times to remove all the dirt / sand. Chop it finely.
Heat oil / ghee in a wok. Add the mustard seeds and let it splutter.
Chop the onion, garlic, chillies, curry leaf (optional) finely and add to the wok.
Stir till onion turns soft.
Add the finely chopped greens and stir fry for some time. Sprinkle a handful of water and cook covered for 3-5 minutes.
Open the lid. Let all the moisture dries up.
Add salt, cumin and fry a bit. After the poriyal looks very loose without any moisture, switch off.
Then put the freshly shredded coconut.
Kothu keerai is ready!
The perfect combination can be with sambar rice or curd rice.