I remember a greens seller in my hometown who sells fresh green leafy vegetables everyday on our streets. She had many different varieties of greens. Of which i remember only few of these,
Thandukeerai(Keerai in tamil means Greens),
Araikeerai(Amaranth contains vitamin A),
Vallaraikeerai(said to be good for memory power),
Sirukeerai(small leafy greens),
Murungaikeerai(leaves of drumstick tree),
Thooduvalaikeerai(removes congestion due to cold),
Manathakkalikeerai(good for stomach & mouth ulcers),
Pasalaikeerai(Palak or spinach),
The list is long and there are many other varieties of indian greens which i do not know the names exactly. Mom says even now she buys greens from her. She sells greens that are freshly picked, early morning from the fields in her village, nearby to our town and we get them right at our doors.
I love methi for its rich aroma. Though it has a slight bitter taste, when pressure cooked with dal, reduces the bitterness. It's also rich in Iron and fibre content and believed to have many medicinal properties. Methi is supposed to cool the body and is good for diabetic patients. I made Methi dal for the JFI-WBB event by Indira of Mahanadi and Nandita of Saffron Trial. Here are the steps to make it.
1 bunch of Methi, pluck the leaves
1 cup of toor dal
1 medium onion and tomato, chopped
Pulp of a lemon-sized tamarind
1 tbsp of sambar powder.
1 tsp of turmeric.
Salt to taste
1 tbsp of oil/Ghee
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of asafoetida
5 to 6 curry leaves
Rinse methi leaves in three changes of water, till the water looks clear.
Similarly wash toor dal too. Pressure cook toor dal, methi leaves, tomato, turmeric with little salt till 4 whistles. Let it cool and when pressure is released, mash them and set aside. Heat oil in a pan, fry onion till translucent. Add this to the pressure cooker contents. Stir in tamarind pulp, sambar powder with salt and let all this boil till the dal thickens.
Finally heat oil and toast the seasoning ingredients one by one in order provided. Add this to the dal.
Serve hot with rice and a side curry.
This recipe can be adapted with any other greens. Sending this to JFI event.