Saturday, February 15, 2014

Nadan Cheera Thoran / Spinach Stir Fry

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Nadan Cheera Thoran or spinach stir fry with coconut is an everyday side dish for rice. In Kerala, cheera (a variety of spinach) is grown in the backyards, most popular are the "red cheera" and the "green cheera".
Now-a-days we get them in local vegetable shops, but I stay away from them after reading about them being sprayed at with pesticides. So when I got this organic one from a friend's farm, I was thrilled to bits!!
Its been a long time since I made "cheera thoran" with farm fresh one. I do have to mention that it tasted so yum with hot white rice. Living in the 3rd floor of an apartment has its disadvantages and when I got a huge bundle of this...I was so overjoyed!!

Cheera/Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxitants; it is available in different colurs. Including greens in your family's diet is a must, especially in your kids diet. This side dish is very vegan and healthy made with coconut and coconut oil. I used shallots (cheriya ulli) to bring in the authentic country (nadan) taste. The addition of raw rice to the oil makes it more flavorful. I am sure you will love this easy stir fry.....which is perfect with plain rice or chappathi.

Lets learn to make this easy and quick but healthy side dish, which can make your lunch extra healthy and special.

Author: Nisa Homey
Serves: 2 to 3
Cooking time: 5-7 min.

Pacha Cheera (Spinach): 1 large bunch.
Shallots (cheriya ulli): 3 or 4.
Green Chilly: 1 large or 2 medium.
Garlic: 2 cloves.
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp.
Freshly scraped coconut: 1/2 to 3/4 cup.
Mustard seeds: 1/4 tsp.
Matta rice: 1/2 tsp.
Shallots (cheriya ulli): 2 or 3, sliced.
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp.
Salt to taste

Wash the spinach thoroughly, and keep it in a colander for a few minutes. Chop them up finely. Keep them aside.

 Add the scraped coconut in the dry grinder/chutney grinder along with the shallots, turmeric, green chilly, and garlic cloves. Grind them coarsely without adding any water....just pulse them twice. Keep them aside.

Heat a kadai or pan or "cheena chatti". Add in coconut oil, add in the mustard seeds, once it starts to crack add in the matta rice...simmer the fire and then add in the chopped shallots (cheriya ulli)

Once the shallots (cheriya ulli) has lightly browned, add in the chopped spinach. On high flame cook for 1 min. Spinach will start to release water and wilt quickly if it is fresh, and once the water is evaporated. Add in salt and stir well.

Now simmer the fire and add in the coconut mix, cover with a lid for a minute. Open lid and stir everything together.....stir for another min or two. Serve hot.

Serve hot with rice or roti. 
Enjoy this traditional vegan dish with your family.

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