Molagootal is a unique dish of Kerala Iyers. Everybody likes it including non-Iyers who try it. I’ve found that every non-Iyer who joins our family (by way of marriage) takes an instant liking to it. It is the most satvik food and at the same time delicious also. The taste is a blend of all the vegetables, and lentils, and fresh coconut. It is not very spicy nor oily, which makes it suitable food for young, old, and the invalid. Molagootal can be made with mixed vegetables (raw banana, pumpkin, winter melon, chena, koorka, payar), spinach (keerai), banana stem, cabbage. One of my videshi bahus swore by broccoli molagootal.
Keerai (spinach) is rich in iron, vitamin A, B, and C is a very wholesome vegetable.
It can be made with Are keerai (amaranthis), dhondu keerai, molai keerai (found mostly in TN), parippu keerai (available in Karnataka), spinach keerai (palak), shiru keerai (good diuretic). Of these traditionally we used Are keerai in Kerala, it used to be grown in our backyard.
Keerai (spinach/greens/palak): 300g
Toor dal: ¾ cup
grated coconut: ½ cup
mustard: 1 tsp
urad dal: 2 tsp
red chilli: 1
jeera: ½ tsp
turmeric powder: 1tsp
salt: to taste
Wash and drain the greens, and cook. Cool. And grind to a paste. Pressure cook the toor dal with turmeric powder. Heat 1 tsp of the oil, add 1 tsp urad dal and 1 red chilli broken into bits, fry till the dal is pink in color. Remove. Grind coconut with fried dal and chilli and the jeera to a smooth paste. Boil the spinach puree with salt. Add the cooked toor dal and boil for 5 minutes. Add the ground coconut paste and add enough water to get pouring consistency. Boil. Remove from the stove. Heat the remaining oil, add the mustard seeds when they splutter, add the remaining urad dal, when the dal turns pink, pour into the keerai molagootal.
Can be eaten with rice, chapatti, dosa, pooris etc.
Accompaniments: Thogayal, Thair pachadi, Pachadi, Pulikachal.