September 29, 2008

Keerai Molagootal and Nellikkai Archukalakki ~ Lunch Series #1

I have been planning a lunch series featuring the ordinary lunch menu at my home, which most of the time is traditional dishes. I took few pictures also. It ends there. I kept on procastinating the posting part. Finally I have come around to posting stage.I didnot want to stop it after 2/3 posts and leave it there. I wish to feature atleast the most common recipes in this series. Hope I will do minimum justice to it. A normal lunch consists of a gravy/kootan as referred in Palakkad Iyer lingo, upperi/dry curry, rasam(not everyday), mor/buttermilk and pickle. I had not doubt to what will be my first post in this series. What else other than Molagootal, the signature dish of Palakkad Iyers, to kick start the series.

Keerai molagootal (Spinach in dal and coconut gravy)

Arakeerai/Amaranth leaves (the one with small leaves) is the best variety for molagootal. Palak/Spinach is also good. Most of the times I end up buying palak since it is easy clean, where arakeerai takes quite some time to separate the leaves and tender stem.

Roughly chopped keerai - 3 cupssaltturmeric
Tuvar dal - 1/2 cup
Cumin Seeds/Jeers - 1 tspn
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
For roastingUrad dal - 1 tspnRed chilly - 1 no


Oil - 2 tspn

Mustard seeds - 1 tspn

Ccook the spinach leaves in 1 cup of water till the leaves are withered. Alternatively Mw for 3 minutes. Leave it to cool . Pressure cook tuvar dal till soft. Mash the dal well. Roast urad dal and red chilly in a tspn of oil till dal turns light brown.

Pulse the keerai in the mixer for few seconds. It should be pureed but not too smooth.Grind the coconut,roasted dal and chilly and jeera to a fine paste.
Coimbine spinach puree, mashed dal and ground paste. Bring to a boil. Season with mustard seeds.

The preferred sides for molagootal is puli pachadi (tamarind based), thayir pachadi(with yogurt base) thogayals (chutney) or arachukalakki.

Now I am posting the recipe for nellikkai arachukalakki. Arachukalakki literally translates as Ground and Mixed.Here it is grounded gooseberry and coconut with chilly mixed with yogurt. Chenai/yam, kanni manga (salt pickled small mangoes ) are generally used for preparing arachukalakki.

Gooseberries pickled in salt - 10 nos.

(Usually these berries would have turn soft on soaking in salt water. If you find them firm, u can steam cook/MW for few minutes to make them soft. )
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup

green chilly - 3 nos

whipped curd - 1/2 cup


oil - 2 tspn

mustard seeds - 1 tspn

red chilly - 1 no

methi seeds - 1/4 tspn
Remove the seeds from the berries. Grind together GB, coconut and green chillies.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, followed by red chilly broken into two. Finally add methi seeds. When methi starts turning brown, add to the ground mixture. While the pan is hot, add the whipped curd to the pan and pour over the seasoning. Mix well. Since salt in the gooseberries will be enough, additional salt will not be required. Though check if needed.

Keerai molagootal is going Sunshinemom's FIC: Green

Nellikkai Arachukalakki is my entry for AFAM:Gooseberry hosted by Illatharasi.


  1. A traditional favourite, Jaya. This is a good way to begin the series. I love manga arachukalakki with molagoottal.

  2. What a yummy meal that must've been :)

  3. Aruchakalakki is new to me.... it looks really yummy:) mouth watering recipe... will surely give a try :)

    Keerai is also very nice .... good one!

  4. A healthy recipe indeed! though the recipe is new to me, I think its worth trying it out!thanks for sharing

  5. I love keerai molagootal - it is my favourite, but I just mash it up with 'mattu'! Nellikai archukallaki is new to me - I have only tasted chennai like that - it looks very tasty too!

    I am happy that you cooked and enjoyed the chickpea soup, and yes! It is filling:)

  6. both the dishes are new to me, the preparation. I am familiar with the archukalakiathu, but by a different name, and we use either salted mangoes or ripe mangoes. its called maangha perakku. dontknow the translation. Love your traditional series..waiting for more.:-)

  7. ooh, both the dishes look so good. A great start to a great series.

  8. love aracchukalaki, My mom use to make it with ripe mangoes..
    nice post!!

  9. what a lovely plate jayasree...will be looking fwd to these...I have almost come to a stand still with my lunch box...:)

  10. Both of these are all time favourites here, Jayasree. Even better if it is kannimaanga aritchukalkki.:)

  11. Ur recipes name sound familiar but the recipes are totally new, but they are simply wonderful!


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