Being a greens lover, I would like to try all green varieties. I love thandu keerai aka red spinach or red amaranth greens for its red colored stems and leaves. Thandu keerai is available in two colors: full red in color and red & green mixed as well. The specialty of thandu keerai is we can make use of the stems/stalks as well. As with any greens, it also has high nutrients and loaded with dietary fiber. I usually make thandu keerai soup, thandu keerai mor Kootu (with stems) or this stir/fry. It goes well with Sambar, rasam or any tangy kuzhambu.
- Thandu Keerai - 2 cups tightly packed including stems
- Onion - 1 big sized
- Garlic - 5 cloves
- Grated coconut - 2 tbsp
- Turmeric Powder - a pinch
- Sambar powder - ½ tsp
- Salt - to taste
- Oil - 2 tsp
- Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
- Urad dal - 1 tsp
- Red chillies - 2
- Collect the leaves and stem from the Keerai bunch and wash the greens and stem twice. Chop the stems to bite size pieces. Keep aside.Chop the onion, garlic finely and make it ready.
- Heat a pan with oil and add the items to temper. Once mustard cracks and urad dal turns brown, add red chillies and fry for a minute. Now add the onions along with garlic and sauté till onion becomes transparent. Now Add chopped stems.
- Add 2 tbsp of water and cook the stems for 5 minutes. Once the stems are half cooked add chopped greens. Mix well. Fry the leaves in low flame until it shrinks in volume.
- Then add turmeric powder, Sambar powder and required salt. Fry everything in medium low flame until the greens and stems are completely cooked. This may take 5 to 7 minutes. No need to add water as the greens will leave out water.
- After the greens got cooked, add coconut and mix well for 2 minutes. Once everything comes together, switch off the flame.
- Half cook the stems before adding greens. Otherwise the greens will be over cooked if we add greens and stems together.
- Cleaning the greens is very important to get rid of mud.