Friday 21 June 2019

Vallarai Keerai Poriyal | Brahmi Leaves Thoran | Pennywort Stir Fry

Now that we have shifted our base back to Chennai, I am able to buy and cook some native veggies and greens :) Vallarai Keerai is one such green that I have not seen even once in Pune. So last week when I saw some in the local market, I immediately grabbed a bunch. When I bought them I thought that they are used to make dosas but when I checked with my mom it turned out that the greens used for making dosa is 'Mudakkathan Keerai' and not this. And she told me the recipe to make this poriyal. She said that this Vallarai Keerai (Brahmi) is bitter and hence to make it into an appeasing poriyal you need to add some supporting ingredients like tomato, dal and coconut. 

This is how it looks :)

Generally when we make keerai (greens) poriyal we do not add any of them . Just plain saute of onions and chillies and then the spinach. And as she said, when I tasted the poriyal before adding dal and coconut it was very bitter. But once it was done, it tasted yum and there was only a very faint bitterness to it that even my little one relished it :) And also this leaves are very good for our brain, so if you get hold of some Vallarai Keerai, do buy and make them, now that you have a fool proof recipe :) Also let me know how it turned out..

My other keerai recipes are - Cheera Parippu CurryCheera ThalippuCheera Thoran, Sirukeerai Paruppu MasiyalChembila MezhukkupurattiChembin Thandu Parippu Curry & Palak Paneer

Serves: 4-5 persons

I Took: 

Preparation Time: 15 mins

Cooking Time: 25 mins

I Used:

Vallara Keerai (Brahmi)-2 cups
Sesame oil-1 tbsp
Mustard-¼ tsp
Green Chilly-3 nos (slit)
Asafoetida-¼ tsp
Onion (chopped)-½ cup
Tomato (chopped)-½ cup
Tur Dal (or Mung Dal)-2 tbsp
Grated Coconut-2 tbsp

The Way:

1. Take the tur dal (or moong dal) in a bowl. Rinse well in water. Then soak the dal in ¼  cup of water for 15-20 minutes

2. Once soaked, add a little salt (not much coz we will be adding in the poriyal as well) and cook them till done. First keep the flame in high till the water boils and then simmer and cook covered till done. The dal should not turn mushy. They should be cooked and retain their shape. It should take around 8-10 minutes for them to get cooked

3. Meanwhile clean and keep the greens (keerai). Remove old or wilted or yellow coloured leaves. The stem is edible too. If the stem is clean and tender use it as well

4. Rinse the greens (keerai) in water 2-3 times to remove the dirt and mud particles. Then drain the water and chop them finely and keep aside

5. Chop the onions and tomatoes and keep aside

6. In a pan, heat sesame oil. Use sesame oil for this stir fry. It is highly recommended. If you do not have it replace with sunflower or coconut oil

7. Splutter mustard

8. Add the chopped onions and slit green chillies and saute

9. The onions should turn translucent and slightly start to turn colour

10. Then add asafoetida and turmeric powder. give a quick saute

11. Add the chopped tomatoes and give a nice saute. Maybe you can close and cook for 2 minutes till the tomatoes slowly start to turn mushy

12. Add the chopped greens and give a nice stir. Cover and cook for 5-6 minute till the leaves wilt and get cooked. Check in between to see that they do not get stuck at the bottom and saute to avoid that

13. Once the greens are cooked, add the cooked tur dal (or moong dal) and give a gentle stir and leave it for a minute

14. Then add the grated coconut and give a quick and gentle stir

15. Switch off flame and serve with rice and a gravy of choice



  1. They look a bit like cherry radish leaves. Yummy and healthy!

  2. Have never heard of these greens but looks delicious


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