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Poricha Kozhambu and Keerai Masiyal – 30 minute meal

December 13, 2007

The thing about Indian cuisine is that making a meal takes time- about an hour, at least. I mean, by the time you’ve pressure cooked the dal for a sambar or even plain dal, 20 minutes goes by and then you have to wait for the steam to dissipate before you can open the cooker. Just that one part takes time. One trick I learned from my mom is to always cook extra dal- free the excess for use at a later date when you won’t have the time. I’m a  big fan of time saving and quick cooking tricks and techniques- other than the stove, the freezer and the microwave are my favorite appliances in the kitchen. I use frozen vegetables for the most part, and when I do have to use fresh veggies, I microwave them to cook them in a short amount of time (another trick I learned from my mom). Also, the microwave rice cooker- all these with some simple recipes from my mom help me get dinner ready in 30 minutes or less. I made such a meal yesterday as I had only about that much time between getting home from work and getting to an appointment. My menu- Ma’s Poriccha Kozhambu and Keerai Masiyal with rice.

What you need: 

For Ma’s Poriccha Kozhambu :

  • 1/2 a daikon radish,chopped in cubes (her recipe calls for  or a cup of chopped yam (Chena), which I didn’t have on hand)
  • 1.5 teaspoon of tamarind concentrate
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1.5 teaspoon of sambar powder
  • For tempering or tadka-1 teaspoon of cooking oil, mustard seeds, methi seeds, curry leaves, 1 tablespoon of grated/desiccated coconut

For Keerai Masiyal:

  • 1 Pkt frozen spinach
  • 1 cup of frozen cooked toor dal
  • For tempering, mustard seeds, urad dal, whole red chilli
  • 1 teaspoon of cooking oil 
How it is done 
  1.  Chop the mullangi/mooli/daikon radish into small cubes and put in a microwave safe container, add a little water, some salt and microwave for a 2-3 minutes
  2. In the meanwhile, heat a saucepan, add the oil for tempering and add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the methi seeds, curry leaves and toast for a few seconds. Then, add the desiccated coconut and continue to toast till the coconut is a golden brown. Empty saucepan and keep the tempered masala aside.
  3. Add the cooked radish to the saucepan, add some water and the tamarind concentrate and stir. Add the turmeric and let it come to a boil. While the radish is cooking, thaw the frozen spinach in the microwave.
  4. Once the radish-tamarind mixture comes to a boil, add the sambar powder and salt and pepper and let cook for a few minutes covered so the flavors blend. 
  5. Take another saucepan, and heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they start spluttering, add the urad dal and the “tear” the red chilli and add it too. When the urad dal is golden brown, add the thawed spinach, mix and cover to cook.
  6. Microwave the frozen dal for a minute or so to thaw it. Now, you can use the microwave to cook the rice  (follow your microwave cooker’s instructions- mine takes about 12 minutes for 1 cup of rice).
  7. The Poriccha Kozhambu should be almost done- adjust the salt and add the tempering you had kept aside earlier. If you want, you can add a bit of jaggery (about 1/2 an inch piece) now. Mix well and turn off the heat.
  8. The Keerai should be almost cooked, but not fully done yet. Add the thawed dal, salt and let it all cook for about 5 minutes.

You’re done! Once the rice is ready, dinner is served!!

One Comment
  1. going to try this today 🙂

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