Ponnanganni Keerai poriyal, a delicious stir-fry using dwarf copperleaf greens with chilies and coconut. A simple and healthy stir-fry using fresh greens .
Ponnanganni keerai | Seemai Ponnanganni Keerai | Sivappu ponnanganni keerai | Red water amaranth | Dwarf copper leaf spinach | Greens stir-fry | Spinach Stir-fry | Spinach curry | Quick and easy greens stir-fry |
What is Ponnanganni Keerai?
Ponnanganni leaves, botanically called as Alternanthera sessilis. They are also called as Ponnaganti Koora in Telegu, Matsyaakshi, Mukunuwenna, Gudari Saag, and Dwarf Copperleaf spinach, Water Amaranth, and Sessile Joyweed in English.
In India, Ponnanganni is known as the “golden plant.” Regular intake of these healthy greens help in indigestion, keep the eyes healthy, bring a natural glow to the skin, and cools the body in the hot summer months.
It is also widely used in the Indian Ayurvedic system to help treat various conditions from fevers, diarrhea, to skin irritations. In Africa, Ponnanganni leaves are used to help treat snake bites and sooth aches and pains.
There are 2 types of ponnanganni greens. Naatu Ponnanganni, meaning native indian plant, locally grown Indian variety, has green leaf and stems. While Seemai Ponnanganni refers to those grown in foreign soil, has crisp small leaves with a red hue.
The Lunch Thali
Keerai, spinach, greens are a regular affair at home. Keerai kootu and rasam is a standard menu at home. Check this simple purslane leaves kootu or amaranth leaves kootu. If you love stir fry with fresh spinach, you would definitely like this keerai poriyal.
I have a Indian store nearby, where I get all varieties of spinach every week, fresh stock from India, Sri Lanka and nearby countries.
Amma was pleasantly surprised to see the varieties of spinach we get here. She made this delicious ponnanganni keerai for our weekday lunch.
In this tempting, simple vegetarian thali you can find
- Steaming hot rice with ghee
- Ponnanganni keerai poriyal
- Pachai Sundakkai Morekuzhambu | Fresh turkey berry in yogurt gravy
- Tomato rasam
This simple and flavorsome Ponnaganti Koora stir-fry is my mother's recipe. I m trying to document all her recipes as much as I can.
- Keerai/Spinach, I have used 1 large bunch of dwarf copperleaf leaves for this poriyal. You can also make this stir-fry with other greens like black nightshade, drumstick leaves too.
- Dal : Amma usually adds moong dal to her greens stir-fry, adds volume to the stir-fry.
- Spices, this recipe uses red chilies and ginger. You can also use green chilies instead.
- Coconut & tomatoes, you can skip the tomatoes, but don’t miss the coconut, adds flavor and texture to the keerai poriyal.
- Tempering : Usual Indian tempering ingredients like mustard seeds, hing, chana and urad dal for crisp elements are used.
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Stepwise Instructions to make Spinach Stir-fry
Please check recipe card below for exact measurements of each ingredient used and also for the detailed instructions
- Remove the leaves of the ponnanganni keerai, throw away the stem part. Wash the leaves well with water, drain and chop them fine.
- Wash and chop tomatoes. Wash and soak in moong dal for 10 minutes in water.
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan, splutter mustard seeds, hing, add urad dal and chana dal to this.
- Once the dals turn golden brown, add the red chilies, chopped tomatoes and sauté.
- Now dump the chopped leaves to this and mix well. Add turmeric powder and salt.
- Add coconut, sprinkle water. Cover and cook in a medium flame for 8-10 minutes until all the moisture evaporates.
- Once done, remove cover, mix and serve this delicious subzi with rice. This keerai poriyal makes a good lunch box dish too.
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Recipe Card for Seemai Ponnanganni Keerai
Ponnanganni Keerai Poriyal | South Indian Lunch #10
- 4 cups finely chopped ponnanganni keerai dwarf copper leaf
- ¼ cup Moong dal/Pasi paruppu
- 1 no medium sized plump tomato chopped
- 5 nos round red chilies
- ⅓ cup grated fresh coconut
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 2 tablespoon oil i used cold pressed groundnut oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds/kadugu
- ¼ teaspoon hing/asafoetida
- 1 teaspoon Urad dal/Ulundu Paruppu
- 1 teaspoon chana dal/gram dal/Kadalai paruppu
- Clean the ponnanganni by removing the leaves, discard the stems. Wash the leaves in water, let it drain well. Chop them fine.
- You can refrigerate the leaves after removing them from stems. Wash and chop just before cooking them.
- Wash and soak the moong dal for 10 minutes in water. After that drain and keep it aside in a colander.
- Heat oil given under tempering in a heavy bottom pan. Once hot, splutter mustard seeds, add hing, followed by both chana dal and urad dal.
- Once the dals turn golden brown, add the chopped tomatoes along with red chilies. Saute until the tomatoes turns soft.
- Once the tomatoes turn soft, dump the chopped ponnanganni leaves to this and mix well. Drain excess water from the moong dal and add this to the pan.
- Add turmeric powder, salt and coconut. Mix well. Sprinkle water, cover and cook in a simmer flame for 8-10 minutes.
- By the said time, the spinach would have wilted, the spices well combined and moisture evaporated.
- Take it off the flame, serve it warm with rice. This simple and flavorsome spinach stir fry pairs well with rice and they make an excellent side with roti's if you love dry subzi.
- You can also pack this delish keerai poriyal in lunch boxes too. I make this into a wrap with some chutney and roti, and kids get excited and never complain about spinach.
- Tomatoes are optional in the stir-fry, but you know spinach so both tomatoes and moong dal adds up the quantity.
- As i have mentioned in the instructions, this keerai poriyal makes a wonderful lunch box dish. Pack it along with rice for adults, make it exciting for kids as wraps and rolls.
I m not a Doctor or a Nutritionist The Nutrition information provided above comes from the plugin and is only an estimate.
Very nutritious recipe. When fo we add the moong dal? Should it be only soaked or boiled?
Thanks sukshma, though i have mentioned in the instructions, forgot to include it in the recipe card. It has to be added after adding the spinach leaves.