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Recipe for Keerai Kootaan / Milagoottal and Cabbage Poriyal

A simple Tamil vegetarian lunch menu comprising Keerai Kootaan (Spinach and lentils) and Cabbage Poriyal / Stir fry
Course Main Course
Cuisine south indian
Servings 3 people


For Keerai Kootaan

  • 2 bunches spinach
  • 3/4 cup tur dal

For Keerai Kootaan spice paste

  • 1 tbsp dal udad
  • 3 chillies medium dried red
  • 1 tsp black pepper whole
  • 1 tbsp rice (uncooked raw grains)

For Keerai Kootaan tempering

  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp dal udad
  • curry leaves few

For Cabbage Curry / Cabbage Poriyal

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 red chillies dried
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp urad dal
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 6 cups cabbage finely chopped
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps coconut fresh grated


  • Recipe for Keerai Kootan: We start by preparing the spinach. Take 2 bunches spinach. Pluck the leaves and tender stems. Washed thoroughly in bucket of sink full of water, several times. Chop finely. In a heavy pan, place the chopped spinach with a pinch of salt and 1/4 cup water. Boil the spinach till wilted and mash with back of a round ladle. Do not cover while cooking to retain green colour.
  • For spice paste, fry the ingredients for spice paste in 1/2 tsp oil in a wok till dal turns golden-Grind the above with 1/4 cup of fresh grated coconut, using upto 1/4 cup water into a fine paste. Remove from blender and keep aside.
  • To cook the lentils, take under 3/4 cup of tur dal, wash well, pressure cook till very soft with 2 cups water. (2 whistles and on sim for 5 minutes)Mash this well with a ladle. Keep aside.
  • Next is assembling all 3 parts and tempering the kootan. In a pan with the mashed spinach, add the mashed dal and the ground spice paste. Stir to mix well. Add salt to taste. Bring to a simmer. Remove from flame.
  • For tempering:heat 1 tsp oil, to this add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp udad dal, few curry leaves. Once seeds splutter and dal turns golden, transfer this tempering over the prepared kootan.
  • Serve hot with rice.
  • To prepare the South Indian Cabbage Stir Fry Curry / Cabbage Poriyal -In a large heavy-bottomed wok, heat the oil. Splutter mustard seeds, fry the broken red chillies and udad dal for 30 seconds. Add the curry leaves and stir them until they turn bright green (few seconds)
  • Add the finely chopped cabbage, salt and stir for a minute or so on high flame.
  • Cover and steam cook for a total for 8-10 minutes on a low flame. If you are making this in a light-weight kadai, you may need to sprinkle a little water 2-3 times so that the cabbage does not stick to the pan and burn.
  • Once cooked, remove from kadai into a bowl, garnish with fresh coconut and serve hot.


Lunch Series so far-
Day 1 - Vengaya Sambar, Vendakkai curry, Potato Roast
Day 2 - Peerkangai thuvaiyal, Red Chauli
Day 3 - Keerai Milagoottal, Cabbage curry