Spinach Kootu

Keerai Kootu
We have long known, thanks to our wonderful moms, the value of eating spinach. A nutrient powerhouse, spinach is rich in vitamins A and C, folate, iron, calcium and fiber. Like all greens, it is super-low in calories so it’s very waist-friendly as well.

But the real reason I grew to love Spinach was its fabulous taste, ease of cooking, and versatility. It is easy to wilt spinach to tenderness in seconds, making it a hurried cook’s best friend. What’s better, it goes with almost anything. Spinach parathas, spinach rice, spinach dal…you name it, and there’s a way to cook it with spinach for an easy health buzz!

I grab up fresh spinach when I can find it at the market, but I always have some frozen spinach on hand for those quick weeknight meals that need to be both tasty and healthy. My recipe for today is Spinach Kootu, one such favorite. A classic Tamil dish, Spinach Kootu takes just minutes to put together.

The Kootu goes great with rice, although I love nothing more than eating it with a hot chapati. I like it so much, in fact, that when I have it on hand, I snack on it straight out of the refrigerator. Yum.

Spinach Kootu

1 16-oz package frozen chopped spinach, zapped in the microwave for a few minutes until tender (it took around 5 minutes in mine to thaw and cook it)

1 tsp canola oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tbsp udad dal (black gram dal)

1 tomato, diced

Salt to taste

Grind together:

1 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds

2 dry red chillies

1/2 cup coconut milk or 1/4 cup fresh coconut shreds

In a saucepan, combine the ground masala and the spinach. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer five minutes.

Heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the mustard seeds, and when they sputter, add the udad dal.

Fry the dal until lightly golden and then add the tomato. Cook for another minute until the tomato begins to break down.

Pour on the kootu. Add salt to taste and serve hot.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

16 thoughts on “Spinach Kootu

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    August 27, 2008 at 2:17am

    Wow, this is a healthy meal. Simple too!

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    August 27, 2008 at 2:42am

    Mmmm I love spinach. I had some vegan channa saag for dinner tonight and it was fantastic. But this recipe sounds even better, thanks to the addition of coconut milk.

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    August 27, 2008 at 2:51am

    I make spinach kootu with dhal! Ur version is totally different and yummy too!

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    August 27, 2008 at 5:06am

    Spinach really is a versatile ingredient, isn’t it? not only does it add its own subtle taste to the dish, it also absorbs the flavours of the other ingredients and kicks the taste up a notch.

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    August 27, 2008 at 6:26am

    Vaishali, this is new to me! We use moong dal with spinach for kootu alongwith grated coconut but the milk is new! Thanks:)

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    August 27, 2008 at 1:07pm

    i love spinach too, nothing like the fresh farm spinach..this recipe is somethg differnt.

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    August 27, 2008 at 4:28pm

    simple and healthy meal. The colour of the dish is looking so amazing.

  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    August 27, 2008 at 11:41pm

    As Cham said, I cook spinach with dal! Love your version too. shall try this next time. looks so delicious Vaishali!

  9. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    August 28, 2008 at 3:01pm

    I too make i t with dal..urs is completely different…ought to try it

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    August 28, 2008 at 10:04pm

    I have tagged you for a Meme, check out my blog under the latest post today.
    Have fun doing it!

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    August 29, 2008 at 6:25pm

    I have never used coconut milk in spinach bhaji. Will try this soon. Spinach is my favorite too and for the same reasons as yours.

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    September 4, 2012 at 12:46pm

    I made this last night it was incredibly delicious – I would never have thought something so simple would be so yummy!

    I substituted some things: used coconut cream with added water instead of coconut milk, used half a small carton of chopped tomatoes instead of fresh and used a tsp of ready ground dried chilli flakes instead of whole dried chillies (basically, whatever I had in the cupboards).

    I’ve made several of your recipes before and am becoming a bit of a fan girl! Every time I want to cook good vegan Indian food I come to your website. Thanks for your continued awesomeness.

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