Agathi keerai in Tamil, scientific name is sesbania grandiflora and in English the spinach variety is called as august tree leaves or humming bird tree leaves. It is extremely nutritious like most leafy greens. It is part of the special food prepared on dwadesi, the day after ekadesi. Reason is that on ekadesi, Hindus normally fast and we are expected to break the fast next day with a certain menu. One of them is agathi keerai as it has ability to sooth stomach ulcers. Some may fear the fasting but it is interesting how our ancestors had thought through it and designed the menu around it. It is not often that I get hold of these but here is what I made with them this time…
3 tablespoon mung dal
4 tablespoon grated coconut (I used dessicated coconut)
1 dry red chilly
1 bunch agathi keerai, leaves taken off the stalk and washed well
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Salt to taste
Cooking oil (I used coconut oil)
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and after it splutters, add turmeric powder, dry chilly and asafoetida.
Add the leaves, required water and allow it to cook and add some salt half way through
In another small pan, add the dal and cook it with required water. The dal should be well cooked but not mushy
Once leaves are cooked and all water is dried, add mung dal and coconut and fry for couple of minutes
Serve with cooked rice!