Monday, April 8, 2019

Thanjavur Style Keerai Kadanchathu | Keerai Kadayal | South Indian Style Spinach Mash | Gluten Free and Vegan Recipe

Thanjavur Style Keerai Kadanchathu

Hi Supermoms,

"The tastiest dishes are made of few ingredients and simple recipes".

A great example to prove this statement is the recipe I am going to share today. Thanjavur 'Keerai Kadanchathu', a family favourite. I was introduced to this dish by my Mother-In- Law. In our home, a small portion of spinach is made almost every day. Keerai Kadanchathu is a perfect accompaniment to any dish. It can be had along with a spicy curry rice , sambar or any variety rice. 

This dish is so healthy and hardly takes time to cook. Though I must confess, it took me many years of continuous practise to get the taste and consistency of the Keerai Kadayal that my MIL makes. Every time I used to make this dish, my children will taste and immediately share, "Amma, it is good but not as great as Paati's(grandma's)". That motivated me to watch my MIL make the spinach kadayal closely and learn all her tips and tricks to get this dish right. I am happy to share that I have passed the taste test successfully.  

I also try and cook spinach in my iron kadai/wok  that makes it more iron rich and also tasty. You can add a pinch of baking soda/cooking soda or sugar to spinach, if you like that vibrant green colour. I usually avoid it. As spinach reduces in quantity so much once it cooks, be careful of the salt quantity. It is always better to add only little in the beginning. Once it cooks, you can taste and add if required. You can cover the vessel/wok with a lid or a heavy vessel with water on the top if you do not want to add any water to the spinach. 

The most important step is to finely chop spinach. That really gives a great texture to Keerai Kadanchathu. Traditionally we use a wooden hand whisk called 'Matthu' to mash/whisk the spinach . The 'whisking' action is called 'Kadayal' and thus the name of the dish. 

The Keerai Kadanchathu regularly features in my Lunch Thalis . Some other regular spinach dishes that I make are Keerai Mor Kootu, Keerai Sambar, Keerai Thayir Pachadi . You can make this recipe to cook any fresh seasonal spinach/amaranth variety available in your locality.

Thanjavur Style Keerai Kadanchathu

Thanjavur Style Keerai Kadanchathu: 

Preparation time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 20 minutes
Serves : 2-3
1 cup = 250 ml cup 

Ingredients :

4 cups spinach ( finely chopped)
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon rice flour
rock salt to taste

For tempering :

1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds ( or cumin seeds)
1/4 teaspoon urad dal ( optional)
1-2 dry red chillies ( halved)
1 teaspoon sesame oil


1. Wash and add spinach to an iron kadai.

2. Place the kadai over low/medium flame.
3. Add salt ,water and allow it to cook for 7-8 minutes.
Note : The time will vary depending upon the freshness of the spinach that you are using.
4. Use a hand whisk ( matthu) to mash the spinach.

5. Add rice flour and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes or till the time they look like a smooth curry. 
6. Switch off.
7. Temper with ingredients given for the same.

Your traditional, simple and healthy Keerai Kadanchathu is now ready to be served. 

Thanjavur Style Keerai Kadanchathu

Happy Cooking !

With love,


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