Purslane Dal Recipe | Paruppu Keerai Kootu Recipe
Growing up (and even now to a certain degree), my knowledge about greens has been pretty limited. Back home in India, I still remember my mother giving me instructions to buy specific greens from the market and me getting something else. The variety was mind boggling and the ability to recognise them was never my forte. I am working to slowly rectify that lapse. But thanks to my mom's repeated praise I am well aware the benefits that these powerhouses contain. This love now sees me growing our own greens in our home garden and visiting Farmer markets since they carry way more variety than your local supermarkets.
Purslane Dal Recipe | Paruppu Keerai Kootu Recipe
One such visit gave me Purslane.Also known as pursley, pigweed, verdolaga, regelah portulaca paruppu keerai,luni bhaji, purslane is infact a weed. Its USP is that its leaves contain more omega-3 fatty acids than in some of the fish oils. So, for vegetarians like me, this sure is a huge bonus! Purslane is supposedly India's gift to world. I find that the purslane we get here in the US is much pudgier/fleshier than the ones in India but apart from it, looks are similar. Purslane is crunchy, earthy, grasslike with slight salty/sour undertones. Some online sources mention acidic tones as well though the ones I found did not taste that way. If picked tender, it does not turn as sticky or gooey (mucilaginous) when cooked. But even then the gooeyness should not be a problem when you make something like a dal with it. Or a quick high heat stir fry should help to avoid that issue. You can use them fresh/raw in salads.
Purslane Dal Recipe | Paruppu Keerai Kootu Recipe
Important Note: Just like any other spinach varieties, these are also high in oxalic acid, in fact more so than others. So, those suffering from kidney stone issues / oxalate urinary tract stones are advised to avoid eating purslane or at least discuss it with your doctor before considering including this in your diet. For the rest, it is an important source of nutrition. This simple dal is a great way to begin your journey with this green. Once you are introduced you can explore many more recipe options depending on how your reception is. Mildly spiced and well balanced this hearty lentil stew goes well with warm rice (don't forget the ghee) and even rotis.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 2-4 as part of a main course.
  • Yields: Around 2.5-3 cups
  • 1/2 cup split pigeon peas (Toor Dal) - see Tips
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard
  • 1 tsp Urad dal
  • 1-2 dried Red Chillies
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 med-large Onion, finely chopped
  • 150 grams of destemmed Purslane greens
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly squeezed Lemon juice to taste
1. Toor Dal: You can use Masoor Dal (Red Lentils), Channa Dal (split Chickpeas) or Moong Dal (split skinned Mung beans) instead of Toor Dal. All of them work each bringing their own taste profile to the dal.
1. The only effort to make this recipe is in prepping the leaves. The destemming process does take time and patience.  But once done, the rest of it is minimal effort. If the stems are tender, use them. The measurement given above is for these leaves alone without the stems. You can increase or decrease depending on your taste preference after you have made this recipe once.
2. Wash them well. Set aside.
3. Cook the Toor dal (or the lentils of your choice) in around 1-1/2 cups water using a pressure cooker. You can cook using stove top as well - will take around 20-25 minutes and will take more water. Keep checking until soft.
4. In a pressure cooker this process takes around 8-10min. You can mash it with a spatula or a potato masher if you need it more smoother. Set aside.
5. While the lentils are cooking, heat a pan. Add 1 tbsp of ghee (or Extra Virgin Coconut Oil or regular oil of your choice) and once hot, throw in the mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering, add in the black gram (urad dal), red chillies and asafoetida. Once they start browning,
6. add in the finely chopped onions along with salt. Saute until slightly soft.
7. Add in the purslane leaves next and saute
8. until lightly wilted. Cooking it makes the texture gooey although in this recipe its not an issue due to addition of dal. But cooking greens minimally is always a good idea from a nutrition standpoint.
9. Next add the cooked dal. I haven't mashed the dal but if you want a smoother consistency simply mash it before adding. Just takes additionally 5 seconds or so.
10. Taste and add salt if needed. You can add in some pepper too if you like.
11. Switch of the flame and then finally add in freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste. This addition helps our body absorb the iron content from the lentils and greens.
Serve warm/hot along with steamed rice/ rotis.
Purslane Dal Recipe | Paruppu Keerai Kootu Recipe

Ideal Accompaniments

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Recipe Reference

From my recipe notes.

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By sandi on Jan 19, 2020

Hello & a BIG thank you. Purslane is growing all over our property here in Australia, I am a Canadian & have seen it there as well I believe. This lucious looking plant called out to me I am edible! so I looked it up & got right on to your recipe I will be cooking this week as we are veggies & LOVE Indian food Dal being one of our favourites. So thank you again & I shall be sharing your recipe with others! best regards sandi

By Sasi on Jun 11, 2017

Trying to grow all kinds of greens in Nj !! Added in my list!!Love the pot u cooked the curry , is that clay?

Yes, its a claypot - Korean Dolsot :) --DK

By Manjusha on Aug 16, 2016

Hello DK, I have been following your posts for a while now. This recipe sounds really delicious. I recently tried Purslane subzi and it was really tasty. I am overwhelmed to read about its nutritional benefits also. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I will try this next time I can get hold of purslane. Keep up the good work! Manjusha

Thank you so much Manjusha. The varieties of natural medicines in form of food is so immense isnt it? --DK

By Carina Simeon on Aug 12, 2016

thank you very much - now at last! know what those greens are called. Will have to try this out and see - I should actually like it, since it contains all items I use in my own home.

I am glad to be of help :) --DK