Agathi Keerai, now I also know it as Agase Soppu ( Kannada name for agathi keerai ), and in English, leaves of the Humming Bird Tree, is very nutritious and is known for it's medicinal values ( can check the web for more details ). The only way, I remember eating this keerai is this poriyal, a dry curry with coconut and dal/ lentils, especially on the day after Ekadasi, this is one of the curries that's definitely made. When living in the US, I never had a chance to make this, even after moving to India, I never made this, but now, we get these leaves, fresh, right from the small vegetable patch in our apartment community. This poriyal is very easy to make, gets its taste from the tuvar dal and coconut added and it goes very well with rice and sambar/ kuzhambu, a very tasty and healthy curry..
Need To Have
- Agathi Keerai - 5 cups
- Tuvar Dal/ Split Pigeon Peas - 1/8 cup
- Onion - 1 big, chopped
- Mustard Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
- Urad Dal/ Husked Black Gram - 1 tablespon
- Dried Red Chilly - 1, broken into halves
- Asafoetida/ Hing - 1/4 teaspoon
- Grated Coconut - 3 tablespoons
- Salt to taste
Clean, wash and chop the agathi keerai. Pressure cook the tuvar dal and keep.
Heat some oil, add the mustard seeds and urad dal, when it starts spluttering, add the red chilly, asafoetida, mix and then add the chopped onions. Saute for a minute and add the chopped keerai, add 1/4 cup water, salt, cover and cook on medium heat till the leaves are cooked.
Remove the lid, if there is some moisture, cook a little longer till dry, then add the cooked dal and grated coconut. Mix and serve warm.
The tuvar dal should be cooked such that, it should be soft but still holds its shape, not mushy.
Agathi keerai, even when cooked well, doesn't turn soft like spinach, the leaves will not become mushy, cook it for about 10 to 15 minutes.
If you don't get agathi keerai, you can do this same curry with amaranth leaves/ mulai keerai too, or any greens that doesn't become very soft when cooked.