November 27, 2020

Keerai Masiyal | Blanched & Mashed greens - Vegan , Satvik & GF

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 Keerai Masiyal is a typical Tamil Brahmin recipe and is almost loved by everyone .  In Tamil Keerai is used to refer to Green leafy vegetable and Masiyal means mashed, in short Keerai Masiyal means Mashed Greens.

Winter is the time when  we get fresh greens of all sorts and we all like to use them as much as possible in our cooking. Keerai Masiyal is a common recipe and will feature regularly in many homes .

I have used spinach/palak in my recipe while this can be made with "Mullai keerai"  "Arai keerai" as well..these greens are available in plenty in Southern India.  

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Just as Khichdi, Achar  papad & dahi  is a sought after combination and a soulful meal for North Indians, Tamilians swear by Vethakuzhambu , Sutta Appalam & Keerai Masiyal . The essence and emotional feel will be lost if I go into the depth of translation, but for the benefit of my readers , it is a combination of roasted papads , a tamarind based gravy and blanched mashed greens.   Do try this combination and I promise you will fall in love with this delicacy .

Keerai Masiyal is power packed with all nutrients and doesn't involve too much oil or cooking . The best part of the recipe which infuses and adds a whole lot of aroma and flavor to this dish is the tempering made out of coconut oil . So pls do not skip on this coconut oil tempering if you want to experience the original taste of how it is savored and relished in a typical TamBrahm home.  

This is a perfect home style simple meal which we crave for and relish when we are back home after vacationing and eating lot of outside food .Helps in detox of the gut . In winters this rustic meal is frequently prepared as it is easy to digest and also keeps the immune system boosted up. 

Traditionally the blanched greens used to be mashed using a hand masher which used to be a special tool in every household to mash the greens or even cooked dhall.  It would take a while to mash the greens manually as the process was relatively laborious and time consuming.  In modern times , we can use the pulse mode in our blenders or food processors and achieve the same texture in no time .

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With winter setting in the Northern hemisphere, Preethi suggested we share Winter delicacies for our monthly Shhh Secret cooking challenge foodie group and stay tuned to have a virtual treat of lipsmacking winter special recipes from my co bloggers . Preethi has  recently shared her family favorite delicious Gongura  Koora (sorrel leaves curry) which is a must try if you relish the slight tanginess present in the Gongura.  This month my partner was Anu Kollon who blogs at "Entethattukada" and I must say her blog has some unique traditional kerala recipes.  She gave me spinach and green chillies as secret ingredients for the theme.  With the secret ingredients that I shared with her , Anu has dished out a lipsmacking radish chutney using radish and mustard ; the secret ingredients that I gave her .

Preparation Time - 15 mins
Cooking Time - 10 mins
Serves 2 to 3 
Complexity - simple

3 medium bunches of spinach/palak
2 green chillies 
1/4 tsp jeera 
2 tablespoon fresh grated coconut 
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp udad dhall 
1/2 tsp chana dhall 
1 dry red chilli 
Salt as needed 


  • Chop the roots of the spinach and remove all the weeds , rotten leaves and stems . Wash them under running water multiple times to remove all the mud . You can also soak them in salt and turmeric water for a while to clean .
  • If the stems are very tender and soft use it along with the leaves for blanching else discard the hard stems because they will be very chewy.

  • Roughly chop the leaves , add sufficient water , pinch of salt , green chillies, jeera and blanch the spinach until it is soft and the raw smell is lost . Cool it completely. 
  • Strain the water and add these blanched leaves to a mixie /blender alongwith the grated coconut and pulse it till it appears coarse . Donot grind it to a fine paste.  The strained water can be used in any other cooking instead of discarding. 
  • Prepare a tempering of mustard,  channa dhall , udad dhall in coconut oil and lastly fry the red chilli and pour it over the mashed spinach. Delicious keerai Masiyal is ready .

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Some more healthy recipes using Spinach which you may want to try 


  1. So healthy and nutritious keerai masiyal. We make it at least once in 10 days but we don't use coconut. Next time will try this variation.

  2. A great way to consume fresh greens! It tastes delicious and is so nutritious. Easy to make too.

  3. Your dish has taken me down the memory lane. I used to have this a lot when I was in Chennai. Lovely colour and taste as well

  4. That sounds very interesting and delicious too... I agree, sometimes trying to convey the translation and feel of the recipe isn't easy...

  5. I love Keerai Masiyal . Delicious recipe with winter greens. Beautiful colour too.It is so nutritious too.

  6. Chutney using fresh leafy greens is a great way to add the goodness of veggies into daily diet. The chutney with that flavorful tempering looks absolutely irresistible!

  7. my mamiyars keeraimasiyal was truly one I admired. the colour of this one looks so good. I can totally have this with rice and a small bowl of karakozhanbu and that will be my best meal...


  8. This sounds a delicious curry/chutney with greens.. never had this but would love to give it a try.. you are right the translations from the original language sometimes spoils the zest and fun of the sayings but can feel what this delicious curry with it's combo means to you.

  9. Beautiful colour of keerai masiyal. An interesting recipe and so flavorful. I wouldn't mind having this with khichdi or even plain rice. Healthy and nutritious.

  10. Priya you have prepared a wonderful dish to consume fresh greens of winters ! It seems to be so delicious and loaded with nutritiousness

  11. I make the similar way but add onion and tomatoes to it. This is one of my fav curry for chapathi. Healthy and nutritious dish.

  12. Wow a chutney with only Palak, interesting. My granny use to add spinach in few chutney recipes and you reminded me of her. I am loving the delectable bowl of chutney and the first thing that comes to my mind is using it as a spread on my dosa. Yum

  13. Keerai Masiyal is quite new to me. It's a good way to consume the greens and easy to prepare. Would love to have it with hot steamed rice.


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