Jan 9, 2014

Basalle soppu Kootu

kootu pic


Basella alba or Basale soppu as it is known in Kannada, is a very nutritious green leafy vegetable. It grows up to a height of even 10 metres! This green leafy vegetable has amazing uses.

Health Benefits of Basella alba
  1. Topical anti inflammatory, anti fungal – helps to reduce freckles, treat acne, heal skin ulcers and reduce skin inflammation. Leaf juice mixed with butter used to heal burns, wounds.
  2. Decoction of leaves used as mild laxative, cooked roots used to control diarhoea
  3. Used to treat Pelvic inflammatory disease, sterility, threatened abortion, false labour
  4. In Africa, roots and leaves used for reducing stomach pain after childbirth, and to increase mother’s milk.
  5. The mucus from leaves if applied as a pack on forehead removes headaches and improves sleep, so used in Ayurveda for insomnia.
  6. To treat Vitamin A deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia
  7. The leaf has anti-oxidants - Beta Carotene, Xea Xanthin. This helps in free radical scavenging, hence has benefit on ageing or cancer cure.

It lends itself to a delicious stir fry or ‘bhaji’, or tambli in Marathi cuisine,or to basale soppu saaru in Kannada cuisine. Here is my attempt to make a Tamil style kootu with these very healthy greens. You Need
  1. Baselle Soppu – trimmed leaves, 4 heaped cups
  2. Red Onion – 3 medium or 2 big, peel and chop fine
  3. Tuvar dal – 3/4 cup, pressure cooked until soft
  4. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  5. Grated fresh coconut – 1 tbsp
  6. Green chilli – 1 or 2 depending on heat preference
  7. Salt – 2 heaped tsp
  8. Sugar – 2 big pinches
  9. Fresh water – 1/2 cup
For seasoning
  1. Any vegetable oil – 2 tbsp
  2. Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Urad Dal – 2 tbsp
  4. Dry red chilli – 1 –2 torn into halves
To Assemble
  1. Wash the greens in several  changes of water until no trace of grits, sand or mud remains! I dunk the trimmed greens into my kitchen sink. This way, I can wash them very quickly. Drain for 10 minutes in a large colander. Chop them coarse. We do not want a slimy paste while chopping them fine.
  2. Pressure cook the tuvar dal with turmeric powder until soft and mushy.
  3. Whiz the fresh coconut with the trimmed green chilli to a coarse mixture. Do not add any water while blending, just dry whiz.
  4. Heat oil in a wok / kadhai / fry pan.
  5. Sizzle the mustard and urad dal; when dal browns, add the torn red chilli.Add seasonings to oil
  6. Tip in the diced onions, fry well for several minutes over high flame, keep stirring to avoid burning. Foggy Onions!Fry them onions well
  7. When the onions have changed from pink to translucent and light brown, toss in the chopped greens. Toss the pan well to incorporate the seasoning oil into the greens. After you see some wilt, add  sugar, half a cup of water and cook uncovered.Onions + soppu                Soppu under a haze
  8. The greens are usually done in 7-10 minutes depending on flame and quantity. Now add the cooked dal, coconut mixture, and salt. Mix well over medium flame to blend all components together.
  9. Best served with steamed rice and a spicy sambar or tangy rasam.
Kootu ready!


Chitra Ganapathy said...

Super healthy kootu.I add moong dal in place of toordal.ur space is too good with varieties of salad.thanks for dropping by mine.:) stay connected

Chandra said...

I will definitely try this...we saraswats, have a traditional dal made with similar ingredients but in a different method and proportion.

Rajani said...

Chitra, glad to hear you like my site. Hoping to see you hop by often.
Chandra, will call you for your recipe with these greens soon.

Subashree Kailas said...

Nice recipe Rajani. Will try it.

Rajani said...

Subha, hi. do try it out and let me know

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A delicious looking dish! I bet it tastes wonderful.



Anonymous said...

Hi Rajani,
Niceo recipe. I will try n will let you know