Chettinad Keerai masiyal

Chettinad Keerai Masiyal

It is a centuries-old custom still practiced on the day of Vijayadasami that the teachers or parents introduce the syllables of the first language to the kids. We guide them to write the alphabet on a bed of sands as a tradition. Furthermore, we encourage the children to enroll in music, dance, or other art schools on this auspicious day. Now I do feel as if this were the first post when I resume my blogging after a lull of quite a few months. So I have shared a simple Chettinad recipe for a rich and intriguing keerai masiyal. I relished this dish when we dined at a restaurant in Madurai a few months ago before the onset of the pandemic.

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Lunch at Taj Pasumalai

We usually serve keerai masiyal as a main dish like sambar, rasam or kuzhambu along with rice as shown below.

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Keerai sadam with a dollop of ghee

But this Chettinad style keerai masiyal tastes scrumptious as an accompaniment, so we can serve this along with sambar or any other kuzhambu.

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Keerai Masiyal as a side dish

Generally, we prepare keerai masiyal using bland leafy greens like arai keerai or other locally grown greens. Now I used yellow Bhringraj (manjal Karisalankanni keerai) to make this dish rich, creamy, and palatable considering the medicinal values. Bhringraj is useful to treat common cold & cough but it is mainly used as a home remedy for treating jaundice (hepatitis).

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Manjal Karisalankanni Keerai (Bhringraj with yellow blossoms)

Ayurvedic properties of Bhringraj:

Taste (Rasa): Bitter (tikta) & pungent (katu)
Qualities (Guna): Light to digest (laghu)
Potency (Veerya):Hot (ushna)
Action (Karma):Balances Kapha & Vata dosha
Benefits:Stimulates liver (pandunut),
relieves cold & cough (kasahara),
improves eye sight (chakshushya),
useful for detoxification (vishagna)

We can prepare creamy keerai masiyal or spicy keerai kootu by adding paruppu (dal) with Bhringraj to mask the bitter flavor. Now let’s prepare Chettinad style keerai masiyal using karisalankanni keerai (Bhringraj):

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Karisalankanni keerai kootu

Chettinad Keerai Masiyal Recipe:

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Karisalankanni Keerai Masiyal


Leafy greens1 large bundle
Green gram dal50 g
Green chillies2
Salt3/4 tsp
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For tempering:

Ghee (clarified butter)2 tbsp
Mustard seeds1 tsp
Split blackgram1 tsp
Shallots (chopped)13
Garlic (chopped)9 cloves
Red chilli1
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Keerai Masiyal Preparation:

  • Pressure cook the dal and keep aside.
  • Meanwhile, wash the greens and steam them.
  • When the greens reach room temperature, blitz them along with green chilies, cooked dal & salt until creamy.
  • Transfer keerai masiyal to a bowl.
  • Prepare the tempering as shown below and add to keerai masiyal.
  • Serve keerai masiyal with hot steaming rice.
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Chettinad keerai masiyal recipe

Tips & Tweaks:

  • We can follow the same recipe using any other leafy greens particularly the ones not liked by us as this recipe elevates even such greens to a whole new level.
  • Usually I prefer to make keerai masiyal excessively so that I can use the same for dinner to prepare spinach paratha as well.
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Keerai chappathi

62 comments on “Chettinad Keerai MasiyalAdd yours →

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  1. You have an awesome blogโ€ฆ I can see your interest. All are beautifully presented. Keep going. Please donโ€™t forget to visit my blog as well.
    Happy Blogging ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Good to see your post after a long time.. hope you are doing fine.. this looks delicious.. a new recipe for me.. sounds very nutritious too

  3. After a long time Megala, nice to see your post. Wow I have never heard about this เฎ•เฎฐเฎฟเฎšเฎฒเฎพเฎ™เฏเฎ•เฎฃเฏเฎฃเฎฟ. Seems a very healthy dish.

  4. Looks extremely delicious! Keerai Masiyal looks like a full meal to me!
    I love bitter flavor. In herbal medicine book, bitter flavor treats liver well.
    Thank you for the nice recipe. It benefits everybody!

  5. I love the details and insights about local customs and culture that so often accompany your delicious recipes, Megala. Thank you. I so want to travel and experience it all for myself, but reading about it is the next beset thing. Welcome back. K

  6. (EN) Welcome back Megala. The frame of your recipes is always so accurate and nice๐Ÿ˜Š. Long time I don’t eat keerai, so thanks a lot for sharing.
    (IT) Ben tornata Megala. La cornice delle tue ricette รจ sempre cosรฌ curata e carina๐Ÿ˜Š. รˆ molto tempo che non mangio keerai, quindi grazie mille per la condivisione.

  7. Happy to see you back, Megala. I was regularly checking for a new post from you, hope you are fine. Thanks for a lovely recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Vijaya Dashmi and Navaratri.

  8. PS. I had to access your blog via the WP reader to leave a comment. I usual view it directly through the browser but it said I had to ‘log in’ to comment, which is a bit strange. Just wanted you to know in case you hadn’t realised.xx

  9. Lovely to see you post again! I really like the newer layout by the way, fresh & pretty. I also had no idea about the link with learning syllables on an auspicious day, or taking up new classes and such at older ages on such a day either. That’s fascinating. And as usual you’ve introduced me to new food! Yellow Bhringraj sounds like a good choice to make this all the more healthy & potentially beneficial.xx

    Caz xx

    1. Yes, we offer prayers to the goddess of wisdom, Saraswathi, on this day and it is believed that it is auspicious to start learning something new in this day.
      Thanks so much for stopping by, Caz!

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