Saturday, April 10, 2010

Keerai Sundal with black-eyed peas and Kale

         Keerai sundal is usually made with more fibrous kind of spinach, which do not disintegrate easily upon cooking. Keerai sundal is made with Agathi keerai. I have not seen it in the market in the US. I decided to try this dish with Kale leaves. I guess it would work with Swiss chard too. Kale has thick fibrous stem which will not be good in this type of preparation so I cut out the stems and thick veins after washing the leaves. I was going to make black-eyed peas separately but thought I would try them together. They make a great pair. So, this recipe is for keeps.

Kale keerai with black-eyed peas Sundal

Kale chopped  3 cups
dry black eyed peas 1/2 cup
mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
urad dal 2 tsps
oil for tempering( sesame oil preferred)
asafoetida/ hing/ perungayam  1/4 tsp
cooking soda(optional)  a pinch
salt to taste
Dry grind:

fresh grated coconut   1 tbsp
red chillies  2-3
cumin/jeeragam  1/2 tsp

 1.Soak the black-eyed peas for 30 minutes. Drain the soaking water and cook with a little water and salt in a pressure cooker. The peas should be cooked but not mushy.
2.Grind grated coconut, red chillies and cumin in a mixer grinder without adding water.Pulse it so that it becomes a powder semi-wet.
3.Wash the Kale, remove the thick veins and stem. Chop the leaves medium fine. Add cooking soda and 1/2 cup water and cook on low heat with lid on. Stir from time to time adding more water(little by little) to cook as the water evaporates. It takes about 8-10 minutes to cook as the leaves are thick. When the Kale is cooked, let any water left evaporate by leaving it on simmer with lid off, takes about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
4. In a deep pan, heat oil and pop the mustard seeds, add the urad dal and  asafoetida. Once the dal turns red add the Kale, salt to taste and stir. Add the black eyed peas and the dry ground mixture. Mix well and take off heat.

   Kale keerai sundal with black-eyed peas is ready. It tastes great alone or with any south indian dish served with rice. Susvaad.

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