Mulai keerai (amaranth leaves) poriyal

Mulaikeerai is also well known as amaranth leaves/ chauli/ thota kura . It is used in dals or as a side dish, for porriyal. This green leaf, mulaikeerai is chopped with its thin stalks, after washing it in water properly. You can cook this by adding any dal you like or just the green leaf. Instead of mulaikeerai, you can use spinach, which is easily available in India, or any green leaf which is good for stir fry. In Chennai, people eat lot of green leaf, in afternoons during lunch time some green leaf dish will be their, it will be either in dry form or gravy type (kottu). In the mornings, I used to see the dwellers coming and selling the green leaf vegetables and they used to sell it by screaming keerai amma , keerai ( green leaf madam) , they will shout and repeat these words, so that the ladies in the kitchen can hear their voice and come for buying. Green leafs are a very good source of iron and good for eyes, so I always include this in my meal. You can have it every day or twice a week. I love this as a stir fry (poriyal), every body cooks it in different style, I will show which I learnt from my mother and my mother in law. At my home we call stir fry green leaf as sukha bhajji means dry fry green leaf. We always eat it with either plain rice as a side dish, with any dal cooked at home or with roti(chapathi). Whenever I go to India, I see that I eat varities of green leaf (bhaji), which I donot get in uk.


  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Dry chillies – 3
  • Curry leaf – 12
  • Green leaves (mulai keerai) – 200 gms
  • Garlic (crushed) – 3
  • Onion (chopped) – 1
  • Green chillies (chopped) – 3
  • Fresh coconut (grated) – 3 to 4 tbsp
  • Salt – as per taste


  • Chop the green leaf or can shred it in a food processor, after straining all the water from it.
  • Take a wider vessel or a kadai, add oil, when it gets warm add mustard seeds, dry chillies, curry leaves, when it starts spluttering add garlic and stir it well for few seconds.
  • Now add chopped onions fry till it is transparent and soft, it will take 5min, then add green chillies and stir it well for 1 to 2 mins.
  • Now add the green leaf chopped and mix well with other spices.
  • Cook it on medium flame, till it is reduced, no need to add water, as it leaves water, while cooking.
  • Close the lid and cook for 5min, in between stir it.
  • When the green leaf is cooked well, it will shrink and no moisture is left, it should look dry and roasted, can simmer also and stir it well, so that it is not burnt, then only can add grated coconut and mix well.
  • At the end, add grated coconut, salt, simmer the flame and cook for 5min, by closing the lid, so that all the ingredients are well blended with each other.
  • Serve this mulai keerai by mixing it with plain rice with a tsp of ghee on it, it is delicious and I enjoy it.
  • You can serve it as a side dish with plain rice or with roti (chapathi).


  • Sometimes I add 1 garlic clove in the coconut and grind it coarsely, instead of grating it, it gives good taste and flavour also.
  • Instead of cooking the green leaf on medium, just close the lid and simmer the flame in the beginning, when you add the green leaf and cook till it is cooked, and then open the lid and stir it on medium flame again , till it is roasted and dry, no water should be there.
  • At the end only grated coconut is added.
  • I use palak also instead of mulai keerai (amaranth leaves) and other green leaves which can be stir fry.

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