Tuesday 9 August 2016

Cheera Kootan | Cheera Parippu Curry | Kerala Style Spinach Gravy with Dal & Coconut

We are the Popeye family in matters of spinach :) We love spinach. It always so happens that I end up preparing dishes with spinach at least twice a week. I like it more when spinach is cooked along with dal but Deeps loves it in any form. 

My mom is such an ardent fan of spinach that there was a time when she used to make it daily. Any day you drop by my house for lunch then, there would be a keerai poriyal or masiyal or parippu keerai, either as a side dish or as the gravy for rice ;) She is an expert in preparing any variety of the spinach. Yes, there are umpteen varieties of spinach that is available in Tamil Nadu. And there is a nuance or knack in which each should be prepared. Some should be paired up with dal & some should not be ! Some need more onions, while some need extra shallots. And there is a variety of the spinach that she says is very good for relief from joint pains, I suppose 'Mudakathan keerai', which she uses to make dosa. Trust me, they taste yum :) I am still learning all these tit-bits from her.  

Having said all that, this recipe is not from my mom and is from my mil. As Deeps loves this dish, I prepare it often. You can say that this is a mallu version of dal palak with coconut paste added to it. This is best had by pairing up with steamed rice & curd. If you have some fried fish on the side then definitely you would want extra helpings of rice :) As it was a no fish day, I made peace with some chettinadu baby potato roast :) So do try out & let me know how you liked it !

My other spinach recipes are  Cheera ThalippuCheera ThoranSirukeerai Paruppu MasiyalVallarai keerai PoriyalChembin Thandu Parippu Curry, Chembila Mezhukkupuratti & Palak Paneer

Recipe Source: Amma


I Took: 30 minutes


Serves : 2 persons

I Used:

Spinach - 1.5 cups after chopping
Tur Dal - ¼ cup
Turmeric Powder - ½ tsp
Salt - As Needed

To Grind:

Grated Coconut - ¼ cup (2 tbsp)
Cumin Seeds - ¼ tsp
Green Chilly - 2 no

To Temper:
Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp
Red Chilly (optional)
4-5 nos (chopped)
1-2 nos (broken)

The Way:

1. Rinse the tur dal thoroughly & soak in water (I took 1.5 cups) for 30 minutes. Add turmeric powder & salt and pressure cook it till done (3-4 whistles)

2. Clean & chop the spinach finely. Add the chopped spinach to the cooked dal & pressure cook for another 2 whistles. (Refer notes)

3. Grind together the ingredients under 'To Grind' to a fine paste, by adding a little water. 

4. Add this to the cooked spinach and give a stir. Allow it to boil for another 2-3 minutes & then switch off the stove

5. Heat oil in a small tadka pan & temper the shallots and broken red chilly (optional and number of chillies to be used as per the hotness you require). When it turns brown in colour, add this to the cooked spinach-dal & mix. 

Serve hot with steamed rice !


  • Pressure cooking the spinach is optional. Many do not like to do that as it is believed that the nutritional values are lost when the spinach is pressure cooked. In that case, you can add the chopped spinach to the cooked dal & allow it to cook for 10 minutes or till the spinach is cooked.
  • I used thandu keerai as this recipe suits that variety of spinach the most




  1. Nutritious and delicious parippu curry.... Love the combination of cheera and parippu.... :)

  2. delicious keerai Kootu... I too love it this way with parippu

  3. this is my fav kootu and all i neeed to finish the bowl now:)

  4. I love spinach too.I am going to try this recipe, I am bored of my usual spinach dal..Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Looks so creamy and tasty.. Perfect lunch thali


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