Keerai Masiyal with Paruppu | கீரை மசியல்

Keerai masiyal (with Paruppu) is a simple and quick to make spinach curry from south India.

I learnt this recipe from my family chef in my native Salem (Tamilnadu). She has been cooking for generations now and her keerai masiyal is always a hit. 

I think we all have already read a lot about the benefits of green leafy vegetables. They are packed with nutrition and is rich in Iron, calcium, fibre, and anti oxidants. My grocery shopping is incomplete without a few bunches of greens in it. 

What I love about this recipe is the simplicity of it and how this can be a perfectly mild recipe for both kids and adults. It has the balance for protein from the lentil/ Moong Dal used and also the goodness from the greens.

Keerai Masiyal
Which Greens to use ?

‘Keerai’ in Tamil language means ‘greens’ and ‘masiyal’ means a mashed curry. There are many varieties of Greens/ Keerai available in India and and if one lives there must make use of blessing the land offers.

This recipe tastes great particularly with Sirukeerai, a variant of amaranth green leaves with smaller leaves. But, I have used palak in this recipe because I couldn’t find siru keerai in japan.

Keerai masiyal (with Paruppu) is probably the most frequently made keerai recipe at home for me.

Apart from the Paruppu Keerai, More Keerai, Palak Pesarettu recipes which are loved by my family. I usually make this for lunch and serve with rice and avoid for dinners as it is said is that greens take longer time to digest and hence it is not advised to be eaten for dinner.

How to Eat it : 

This a classic South Indian style cooked greens recipe and it pairs perfectly with hot rice, and ghee or just hot, fresh roti or chapattis. This delicious staple is surprisingly quick and simple to make.

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! Leave a comment, rate it, and share a picture and tag it #soulsomecooking on Instagram or facebook so I can see it.

Notes : 

  • You can use any dal in this recipe, but moong dal tastes more authentic. 
  • Don’t over cook the greens, as it tends to lose its nutritious value. It is always important to stop cooking or blanching when the leaves are at the brightest of the green. 

“Nothing Brings people together like food”

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Keerai Masiyal

Servings: 3 people


  • 1/2 Onion medium sized
  • 1 Tomatoes medium sized
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 2 pods of garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry moong dal
  • 2 + 1 & 1/2 cup Water
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbspGhee
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Hing or asafoetida
  • 2 no.s Dry Red chillies
  • 1 tsp Black Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Sambar powder
  • 1 bunch Spinach or palak
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 2-3 leaves Curry leaves optional


  • Wash the spinach leaves and trim the roots and keep it aside. Chop the onions finely, and the tomatoes roughly and keep aside.
  • Wash the dry moong dal and cook it in a pressure cooker or in a pot with 1 and 1/2 cups of water and turmeric powder and kept aside.
  • Heat a pan to medium heat and add green chillies, garlic pods, and the washed and trimmed spinach and let it wilt down on the pan completely. Move it around gently to allow the heat to touch the leaves. The moisture in the spinach while washing is enough. If you feel the spinach is getting stuck on the pan or getting dry add a table spoon of water to it and allow it to wilt.
  • Once done allow it to cool down and blend the spinach along with the green chillies and the garlic pods to a coarse mixture.
  • Next heat the same pan to medium heat, add 1 tbsp ghee, add the chopped onions, and sauté until the onions are soft ,next add in the chopped tomatoes and cover the pan with a lid and cook until the tomatoes are softened.
  • Once the tomatoes are softened, add the sambar powder and sauté for a few minutes. Next add in the pressure cooked or boiled moong dal and mix it in the onion and tomato masala.
  • Add in the ground spinach mixture., rinse the blender jar with 2 cups of water and mix it in. Check for salt, cover and simmer it for 10 minutes until you see small bubbles around the edges of the pan/pot.
  • Turn off the flame and transfer to your serving dish. As always the final step is tadka or talippu. Heat a small wok, add 1 tbsp ghee to it and add mustard seeds to it, allow it to crackle and next add cumin and dry red chillies. Once you see the cumin and red chillies have become lightly toasted, add curry leaves and switch off the flame. When the tadka is still hot add asafoetida and mix it with a spoon.
  • Add the hot tadka prepared on the keerai masiyal (spinach and lentil curry) prepared Serve it hot with Rice.


Sambar powder can be replaced with 1/2 tsp coriander powder + 1/2 tsp red chilli powder + 1/4 tsp cumin powder
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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks yum as always! We made your egg curry and it was super tasty.

    1. Thank You very much. I am happy to know you liked the egg curry 🙂

      1. Markus wanted it for dinner the next day again!

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