Mudakathan keerai thuvaiyal (chutney)
This is one of the lesser known spinach varieties that have have huge medicinal value, especially for people with arthritis. This particular spinach has a slightly bitter aftertaste (much like bitter gourd) but the health benefits are so many that you have to find ways and means of including this in your diet. The most common usage is in dosai where a small amount of this spinach is ground and added to the dosai dough. Another tasty way is to make a spicy tuvaiyal so that the slight bitterness is also masked.
Mudakathan leaves – 2 cups
Tamarind – size of 1 large lemon
Urad dal – 2 tbsp
Dried red chillies 5-6
Curry leaves – 15
Sesame oil – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Oil – 1/2 tsp
This plant is a creeper that is literally found growing on the roadside and you will easily think it is a weed. My vegetable vendor brings this quite regularly so I have easy access to it. The plant is mainly twigs with small tomato like leaves and you need to use just the leaves. Wash well and keep aside.
In a kadai add the oil and fry the urad dal till it is golden brown. Add the red chillies, curry leaves, tamarind and mudakathan leaves and continue stirring till cooked. When cool, grind into a thick tuvaiyal with salt. Temper with mustard seeds, urad dal and asafoetida. Serve with hot rice. I found it tastes very good with tayir sadam. Serves 4.