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21 Jan 2008

Cheerathandu / Spinach Stems Sambar

This is an addition to the peel and stem recipes here! Don't think I have nothing to throwaway once a vegetable is used for cooking..:D But I can surely say, a mallu can survive without veggies if he is lucky to live in his own country.I have seen an aunty of mine who prepared spinach / cheera dishes in seven days of the week. If she didn't get spinach from the near by shops she heads to the surrounding land or the neighbour's house to pluck some cheerayila / spinach leaves..Those leaves are not the same which we get in shops. They are different and pure locals who grow with the grass! One more cheera type we have at home is known as Malaysian cheera, with dark green leaves, that we often use for cooking. I think many of you might have the same in your home courtyards.
And this cheerathandu sambar is my MIL's version and she is the another person who uses lots of leaves or stems for cooking..You can use the green spinach stems also for this..

Cheerathandu sambar ingredients and preparation
Cheerathandu / spinach stems 1 bunch
coriander powder 1 tablespoon
chilly powder 1 tsp or as desired
turmeric 1/2 tsp
masoor dal / red lentils 1/2 cup
puli / tamarind 1 goose berry size
water 2 cups or as required
onion 1
tomato 1
potato 1
garlic cloves 2
cumin 1/4 tsp
fenugreek / uluva 1/4 tsp
kayam / asafoetida / hing 1/4 tsp powder- I used 1 small piece
curry leaves few
mustard seeds
coconut oil

Take the stems of spinach / cheera remained when once you removed leaves. Peel them like we do for removing the skin of drumsticks / muringakkai. Cheerathandu will have very thin skin which should be removed.
Cut them in the desired size but not too small. Wash and keep them aside. If the stems are very thick, cut them length wise into two pieces.
Peel potato and chop into big pieces.Chop onion and tomato too.Crush garlic.
Soak tamarind in water and take about 1 cup tamarind water.(Or take according to the sourness you desire)
Wash and cook dal / parippu with onion, tomato, garlic, potato, all the powders, asafoetida and salt in the tamarind water. When it is half done, add 1 cup water and the chopped spinach stems. (Or add enough water required for cooking.) Cook till done.
Heat oil, let the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds to splutter.
Fry curry leaves, and pour this solution into the curry. Add dry red chillies too for seasoning if you like. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves on top.


  1. I love the cheera but have never had the sticks in sambar.
    It looks delicious

  2. Hi Seena, I bought Beet and Swiss chard yesterday, will be perfect for this, thanks!:)

  3. Looks delicious Seena I have never seen red spinach stalks before only the green ones. :-)

  4. Thats an nice idea to utilise the stems...

  5. Have made sabzi with the stem but never tried sambhar.. thanx for the idea!

  6. cheera stem in sambar.. :D Neat!!!

  7. Wow! An another innovative recipe! Never thought of using up the spinach stems in a dal, its a very good idea. The next time i get Spinach, am not gonna throw away the stems.. :-) Thanks for sharing the recipe dear.

  8. Good Idea!Looks delicious!Nale eni veru fry cheyumo?

  9. I think nadan red cheera is so much tastier than any other variety that's avlbl. Nice recipe.

  10. Have you tried making Cheerathandu Verum puli Seena?
    I think even with this spinach thandu, it'll be as delicious as this.

  11. I love keera thandu sambar! I forgot for longtime! Looks yummy:)

  12. I never knew one could cook the spinach stems! Thanks for the education.

  13. hi seena,

    this is indeed a very tasty dish. My mother makes it quite often. keep posting.

  14. Hola Seena!
    Thank you very much for this creative sambar!Good for people in countries not having typical sambar veggies!


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