Mudaliar-Style Mashed Greens with Vadagam

Mudaliar-Style Mashed Greens with Vadagam

This healthy, delicious dish from the Mudaliyar community consists of mashed spinach with toor dar, tempered with vadagam — a homemade flavour-bomb that imparts depth and complexity to any dish it is added to. Read more about it here.

Recipe: Mudaliyar-Style Mashed Greens with Vadagam


2 medium onions
2 tomatoes
5-6 green chillies, chopped (depending on their spice levels)
1 bunch spinach, washed & chopped ( leave the stems on if they are tender)
1/2 cup toor dal
7-8 pods of garlic
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ghee
1 tsp thalippu vengaya vadagam (Buy vadagam online here)
2-3 dried red chillies
1/4 cup tamarind water
Salt, to taste

Pressure cook the toor dal and set aside. (To cook, add half cup toor dal to one and a half cups water, and cook on low flame for 10 minutes after the first whistle).

Heat the ghee in a pressure cooker, add in the chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies, garlic and spinach. Sauté well.
Add about two cups of water and cook for 2 whistles on the cooker. Allow the steam to escape, drain the water and set aside. You can use the water for rotis, soup or curries).

In a traditional mann chatti (or in the same pressure cooker), add the cooked toor dal and mash well. You can use a traditional wooden masher, but the back of a ladle will do the job just as well.

Now, in a heavy bottomed wok, heat a spoonful of ghee. Then add in the vadagam and red chillies.
Allow the vadagam to splutter.
Pour the spinach and dal mix into the wok, and stir well.
Add salt to taste.
Now add the tamarind water, and bring to a gentle simmer.
Cook for two minutes on low flame, then remove from the heat.
Serve with hot rice, ghee, karuna kizhangu varuval and appalam.