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Keerai Molagootal

Hope you all had a great diwali and enjoyed the food, lighting lamps and bursting crackers. After having the ghee-laden sweets and savories, I wanted to make something simple, light and healthy. I had a bunch of palak that was waiting to be used up, so I decided to make my all-time favorite palak molagootal.

Molagootal is a traditional and popular Palakkad Iyer dish. It is a mildly spiced dish made of vegetables or greens cooked in a coconut and lentil gravy. It is slightly different from kootu in terms of ingredients and consistency. You can use a mix of vegetables like ashgourd, carrot, potato, drumstick or just with cabbage or any greens. Today I'm sharing molagootal with palak/spinach. This is a very healthy dish packed with the goodness of spinach. Serve this molagootal with hot steaming rice and any thogayal or pachadi.


{ Spinach in a lentil and coconut gravy}
Serves 3


1 big bunch spinach / palak (about 200g / 4 cups)
½ cup toor dal
¼ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

To grind:
½ tsp oil
2 dry red chillies
2 tsp urad dal
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ cup grated coconut

For the tempering:
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp split urad dal
2 dry red chillies
Few curry leaves


1. Wash the spinach leaves well and let it rest in the colander for few minutes to drain. Then finely chop the leaves.

2. Pressure cook the toor dal with 1 cup water and a pinch of turmeric powder for 3 whistles. Mash the dal and set aside.

3. In a small pan, heat ½ tsp oil and add red chillies and urad dal. Fry till dal turns golden. Once it cools, grind with jeera and coconut to a smooth paste adding little water.

4. In a vessel add the spinach, turmeric powder and about 1 cup water. Cook the spinach uncovered over medium-low heat.

5. Once spinach is cooked, add ground coconut paste. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add mashed dal, salt and mix well. Add water if required. Bring to boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes.

6. In a small pan heat oil and add mustard seeds. When it crackles, add urad dal, red chillies and curry leaves. When dal turns golden, pour over the molagootal.

Notes and Tips
  • I have used palak keerai here, you can also use murungai keerai (drumstick leaves), arai keerai, mulai keerai or paruppu keerai.
  • After adding the dal, if its very thick then only add water and adjust the consistency.


  1. its seriously tempting ... We make it with moong dal and finally temper it with urad dal no mustard seeds :D

  2. this look super super tempting and inviting:)

  3. Like Aparna said I too make it with moong dal u have made it so well Sona.Looks yumm.

  4. keerai molagootal is my favorite too. just need a bowl of rice and this molagootal . Can you share the thogayal recipe in the picture, looks very tasty.

    1. Thanks Lakshmi. Here's the link to the thogayal in pic ~

  5. Inviting and healthy one .. loved the clicks.

  6. spinach, dal and coconut sounds a great combination, will try soon.. nice clicks..

  7. This curry sounds really healthy and delicious.

  8. nutritious and healthy one

  9. Love this spinach and dal combo!

  10. Very tempting healthy curry. Love your photography Sona :-) its very nice.


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