Aatta (=great grandma) Keerai (=green) Thanni (=water) Saaru (=gravy)
The recipe swirls almost from 4 to 5 generation in my family. My great-grandma was a pretty good cook that is what I heard. She left the world when I was one year old. She worked as a school teacher, so she shared her recipes to my grandma who was a stay at home mom! They have never written in paper any recipes, just cook and show so on the recipe comes down by generation. Finally, I am putting down in word (world) until the blogosphere stays alive!
Originally the recipe is Non-vegetarian, they add small shrimp in the gravy. But I will be the first one who modified into vegetarian by just skipping the shrimp; I bet the taste didn’t change. The gravy is prepared with the rinsed rice water (arisi mandi), very mild in spice and watery! Being a kid, we always look forward for this gravy at least once in a week in my home. When my mom does the gravy she makes sure there is another backup one. We end up drinking like soup and leave an empty vessel for my parents. Now I prepare in my home but veg version, my son enjoys equally as I do! Our ancestors created with love and affection, taking care of the health and keeping in mind the taste of the kids with few ingredients. Whenever the dish reaches our table, I couldn’t let think my family and my evergreen memories flourish!
Note:The gravy should be thin, mild spice and always with green! Sorry don’t try to spice up this gravy should not!
Non-veg: try to add small shrimp/Prawns while the gravy boils.
Keerai thaani saaru
Before preparing the gravy
Soak the raw rice with 1 cup of water for 15 min, rinse the raw rice and collect the water in a bowl we call it "arisi mandi".
Arisi mandi (rice rinsed water): 1 cup
Spinach or any Green (I used palak)/ In India we use Arai keerai, mulai keerai: 1 cup firmly packed
Onion: 1 small
Green chillis split in half: 4 to 5
Ginger-galic paste: 1 tsp
Coriander powder: 2 tsp
Coconut: ¼ cup (ground into paste- or can even use coconut milk)
Water: 3/4 cup
Oil: 1 to 2 tsp
Mustard : ½ tsp
Cinnamon stick: 1/2
Start the pot by heating the oil, add the mustard seeds once it cracks, and throw the cloves, cinnamon stick.
Start adding the onion, green chilies, once it turns translucent, add the tomatoes, when they are cooked and start leaving the oil, add the Ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell disappear.
Add the rice water (arisi mandi), green (spinach), coriander powder, coconut ground paste (or coconut milk), adjust the salt and add ¾ cup of water. The gravy should be thin! When it starts to boil, let it cook 3 or 4 min and switch off the stove. Serve Hot over plain rice.
The recipe goes to Cooking with Kids: Love hosted by Jigyasa & Pratibha in the memories of Pedatha, event originated by Sharmi.
Add plenty of love in Ingredients list, any ordinary dish will become extra-ordinary. That is what our ancestor did!