2Dried Red Chilies I used the Kashmiri Red Chili Variety
Prep - Work:
Wash the spinach and drain the water. Chop them roughly.
Grind the coconut, cumin seeds, and dried red chilies into a smooth paste by adding 3 tbsps of water.
Wash the moong dal and pressure cook it by adding 3/4 cup of water for up to three whistles. If using Instant Pot, then pressure cook it in manual mode for five minutes and release the pressure after five minutes or naturally.
Allow the moong dal to cool and mash it roughly.
Head the kadai and add the oil.
When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, and the hing.
Allow the mustard seeds to splutter and then add the chopped spinach, salt, turmeric powder, and ground pepper.
Do not add any water. Mix the spinach and allow it to cook for five minutes stirring every two minutes.
In less than seven minutes, spinach will wilt and ooze out water.
Now add the cooked moong dal and ground coconut paste.
Once they splutter add the chopped spinach.
Mix them thoroughly and cook for three to four minutes over low-medium heat.
If you want thin consistency, then add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water, and cook it for five more minutes.
And that's it. Spinach kootu is now ready. Serve it hot with rice with a dollop of ghee or serve it as a side along with rice and sambar or rice and rasam.
Adjust the salt and spices according to your preference.
Adjust the water according to your consistency preference.
Traditionally moong dal is used in the spinach kootu, but you can try with masoor dal / red lentils or with channa dal / Bengal gram dal.
Try not to skip the ground pepper as it acts as an antiseptic.