Keerai sambar, a quick and easy pressure cooker recipe made with fresh fenugreek/methi leaves and toor dal.Jump to Recipe
Keerai is the Tamil word for spinach. In english, we generalize it with one word spinach, but in most of the Indian languages we call the green with its specific name.
Today’s recipe is Vendhaya Keerai Sambar, Fresh methi/fenugreek leaves sambar. This can be substituted with other fresh spinach.
Keerai/fresh spinach can also be made in to sambar like any other vegetables. Check this delicious purslane leaves/paruppu keerai sambar.
Fresh spinach/keerai as such releases water, so if you add more water, the sambar might become watery. So, while making spinach sambar, try not to add more water.
More Lunch Thali Series
- Fresh Spinach, I have used methi leaves/fenugreek leaves for the sambar. You can also use amaranth, paruppu keerai, ponanganni, etc.
- Toor dal/split pigeon peas is mostly used to make sambar in south-indian household. You can also use masoor or moong dal.
- Masala paste, I have used a fresh masala paste with coconut, sambar powder, coriander seeds, and curry leaves to flavor the Keerai sambar today.
- Tempering, regular tempering ingredients like mustard seeds, hing, and methi seeds is used in the recipe.
Step by Step instructions to make Keerai Sambar
Please check recipe card below for exact measurements of each ingredient used and also for the detailed instructions
- I have used 3 bunches of fresh methi leaves for the recipe. Chop the root portion off, and roughly chop the rest of the methi leaves and wash it water well. Drain and keep it aside.
- Wash and soak toor dal in water for 10 minutes.
- In a spice grinder/small mixie jar, take fresh coconut, sambar powder, fresh coriander leaves, ginger, coriander seeds and tamarind. Grind this to a paste with enough water.
- Heat a pressure cooker with oil, splutter mustard seeds, hing, methi seeds. Add chopped tomatoes, saute for a minute. Add chopped methi leaves.
- Drain excess water from toor dal and add it to the cooker. Add the ground masala. Wash the blender with 1 cup of water and add it to the cooker.
- Add required salt, turmeric powder and another 1 cup of water to this. Mix well. Close the cooker and pressure cook for 4 whistles.
- Let the pressure fall on its own. Open the cooker, mix well and serve it warm with rice and curry.
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Keerai Sambar | Spinach Sambhar | Cooker Recipe
- Pressure cooker
- Blender/Mixie for grinding the fresh masala
- 3 bunches Methi leaves/Vendhaya keerai approximate 4-5 cups when chopped
- ½ cup toor dal/Split pigeon peas
- 1 no medium tomato chopped
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
To Grind Fresh Masala
- ¼ cup freshly grated coconut
- 1&½ tsp sambar powder homemade or store-bought
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 20 grams tamarind , a small marble of tamarind
- a small piece of ginger
- handful of fresh coriander leaves
- few curry leaves
- 1 tsp oil, i normally use gingely oil/peanut oil for cooking these days
- ½ tsp mustard seeds/kadugu
- ¼ tsp methi seeds /fenugreek seeds
- Prepare the methi/vendhaya keerai the previous day to ease cooking. Chop off the roots, roughly chop the spinach, immerse in water for 10 minutes, drain and set aside until use.
- While the spinach is resting, wash and soak toor dal in water for 10 minutes
- In a spice grinder or small mixie jar, take ingredients given under "Fresh masala, to grind", add enough water and grind it to a smooth paste.
- Heat a pressure cooker with oil for tempering, splutter mustard seeds, add hing and methi seeds to this.
- Add chopped tomatoes to this and saute for a minute or until the tomatoes become soft.
- Next tip in the drained spinach to this and saute for a minute.
- Add the drained toor dal, ground masala to this. Add 1 cup of water to the blender jar, washa nd add the liquid to this cooker.
- Add salt, turmeric powder and another cup of water, mix well. Close the pressure cooker and pressure cook for 4 whistles.
- Let the pressure fall on its own. Open the cooker, mix well. Serve this hot with rice/quinoa.
- Any leftover sambar can be refrigerated for a day. Try and use it the next day itself.
Enjoy this healthy, nutritious keerai sambar with rice/quinoa. I served this along with cauliflower curry & rasam as part of our lunch today.