Keerai (Spinach) Pittu

(30 minutes, serves 2-4)

This variation on pittu adds lovely green streaks of healthy spinach and sweet shallots for a savory base that could be eaten on its own — but will taste better with a nice sothi or curry (or both), and a little sambol. Cook in a pittu steamer if you have one handy (the shape mimics the bamboo it was originally cooked in), but any regular steamer should work fine.

2 c. plain flour
1/2 t. salt
boiling water, as needed (I used about 1/2 c.)
3/4 c. fresh spinach, chopped finely (thawed frozen chopped is also fine)
1/4 cup grated coconut (if using desiccated, rehydrate with a T of heated coconut milk)
1 green chili, chopped finely

1 shallot, chopped finely

1. Combine flours and salt in a bowl and microwave for one minute. Check if clumping, if not, microwave another minute or two, until it starts to clump. This process makes it easier to mix the flour with water in the next step without forming lumps. (Alternately, steam for a few minutes between two layers of cheesecloth, or roast the flour in a pan, or use pre-steamed or pre-roasted flour.)

2. Add boiling water to bowl, a little at a time, and stir with a wooden spoon — you’re aiming for a texture similar to crumble or rough cornmeal, sometimes called pittu pebbles.

3. Stir in spinach, coconut, chili and onion, mixing well.

4. Fill steamer with mixture.

5. Steam in a large pot over simmering water for 10-15 minutes, until dough is thoroughly cooked. Push out onto a plate with a long wooden spoon and serve hot with curry and/or sambol.

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