Massoppu - Mashed Greens

Massoppu is a rustic curry, drawing flavors from the freshness of the ingredient than fat or spices. It is associated with peasants and such. A blend of fresh greens straight from the fields including some weeds are cooked with pigeon peas, garlic, green chillies and then mashed till it is all combined. It is generally served with Ragi Mudde , essentially the most popular cereal in southern Karnataka. This version can be considered an elaborate version, quite far from the simple rustic fare. But it is mouth watering and of course very very healthy.

Here in the United States of course we do not get the variety of greens available back home. Indeed all we do back home is go to the vegetable vendor and ask for mixed greens  'berake soppu'. I was so used to the system that I never quite managed to learn the names of the individual greens..However here it is a different story. Even the 'Spinach' does not look like 'Palak' back home!! So I figured out that to make a delicious Massoppu here I needed to get creative!! It paid off handsomely. All I did was use what ever greens that looked fresh in the super market. I have since used Kohlrabi greens, Beet greens, Swiss Chard both red and green, Kale, Radish greens in Massoppu. Make it to believe how good it will taste.

This ingredient list is very broad. use any combination of greens available. Here it is just about listing out possibilities!

we will need,
Spinach 1/2 lb 
Fenugreek greens 1 cup
Kohlrabi greens, Beet greens, Swiss Chard, Kale, Radish greens, or even Romain Lettuce 1/4 lb
Onion 1 small
Green chillies 5-8
Garlic 4 cloves
Toor Dal (split pigeon peas) 1/2 cup
Turmeric a generous pinch
Mustard 1/2 teaspoon
Hing a dash
Ghee 1 Tbsp
Curry leaves a handful
Coconut 3 table spoon
Cilantro a handful
Tamarind paste( canned tomatoes or raw mango can be used instead)
Salt to taste

For the spice blend
Corriander seeds 2 teaspoons
Cumin(jeera) 1 teaspoon
Urad Dal 1 teaspoon
Channa Dal 1 teaspoon
Pepper 5-6 corns

  • Clean and chop all the greens. Wash the dal in multiple changes of water.
  • Combine the dal, one cup of water, turmeric, chopped greens, chopped onion, garlic and green chillies in a pressure cooker and cook till done. (Mostly two-three whistle)  Set it aside to cool down
  • Toast the spices for the spice blend on a gentle flame till fragrant and grind it into a fine powder.(a coffee grinder can be very handy in this case; Also the regular Sambar powder or Huli pudi can be substituted in which case the number of green chillies will have to be cut down substantially). Once the Dal mixture cools down, remove the garlic, chillies and a handful of cooked down greens and mash it with a potato masher. Else, pulse it in the food processor.  Stir it back to the Dal-green mixture.
  • Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pot. 
  • Add the mustand, curry leaves and hing, followed by the cooked Dal-green mixture. Stir in the tamarind/raw mangos, salt, coconut and the spice blend. 
  • Bring it to a boil. Finish with cilantro. Serve with hot rice with a lemon pickle on the side.


Anonymous said...

It was helpful. Reminded me the one prepared by my mother. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Can you please tell me the names of those greens in Kannada? I can't find it. Thanks.

Kannada Cuisine said...

@ ^ _ ^,

Beetrrot soppu, Navilkos na soppu, moolangi soppu, lettuce is the crunchy soppu in salads. As far as Kale and Swiss Chard, I am not sure if they have a name in Kannada. Well the point is just go to a market and get what ever greens are available that day. You can use the green tops of carrot, mooolangi and such vegetables as well. Or you can specifically ask in the market for Mossoppina Soppu and they will give you a mixture of greens which will be yummy!

Anonymous said...

excellent was helpful