Arai Keerai appears on Tamil stalls in January and remains there for several months.
Arai is a plant from a wide range of edible salads belonging to the amaranth family.
Tamil word Keerai means ‘greens’.
As every green here, arai keerai is quite cheap – for a large bunch we pay 10 rs.
At a similar price was also a variety of red amaranth, which I bought at the market in Canacona, Goa.
The taste is quite gentle, fresh – just like the more sweet red amaranth – it’s great for a salad with tomatoes, onions and garlic … or however you like it.
Buying a bunch of this type of herb on the first day I choose young and nice leaves and make a salad.
The second day I discard one with yellowing leaves and, together with the stalks, I cut it into a curry, cooked with the addition of mung, masur or tur daal.
|arai keerai curry||1/2 branch|
|tur/mung/masoor daal||1/3 cup|
|garlic||1 big piece|
|ginger||piece as a big nail|
|urad daal||1 spoon|
|dry red chili||2 pieces|
|red chili powder||1 teaspoon|
- Rinse, pour a small amount of water and leave aside for 10 minutes. After this time, boil and cook for about 30 minutes. Cooked, put aside.
- Keerai leaves, change, rinse and cut. Stalks are also suitable for curry.
- Cut the onion into cubes, finely chop the garlic. Put the ginger on a fine mesh grater. Tomato in cubes.
- Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and add mustard seeds. When they start shooting, fry a few seconds and collect them in the middle. Then add the seeds of cumin, urad daal, asafetoid and dried chilli peppers. Sauté on medium heat for about a minute while stirring.
- Now add chopped onion and garlic and grated ginger and fry together with the spices to a slightly golden color.
- Add red chili powder, turmeric and chopped tomatoes, fry together until they release the juice.
- Now add keerai, mix and dill under cover for about 6 minutes.
- Then add the cooked turn, add the salt to taste, mix and cook together for a while.
Serve with rice.