Agathi Keerai Saaru

This is a simple yet delicious preparation. Agathi keerai has lot of medicinal properties. In this recipe keerai is cooked in rice water along with cumin seeds and shallots. Finally poppy seed and coconut paste are added.

This recipe is good for people with ulcers and acidity problems. Poppy seeds, coconut and agathi keerai all cure these ailments.Cooking agathi keerai with small onions improves the intestinal functions. Agathi keerai has lots of calcium and is good for the elderly with joint problems.In older days rice water was never wasted. This contains water soluble B-vitamins from the outer surface of rice.It is milky in colour and gives thickness to saaru.

The final recipe is a watery preparation like rasam. It is typically had with hot rice and ghee with puli kuzhambu as the accompaniment.

Agathi Keerai Saaru



1 bunch agathi keerai

5-6 cups rice water ( water in which rice is washed, esp. boiled rice) puzhungal arisi kazhani

10-15 no shallots

1 tsp cumin seeds

salt as required

1/2 cup shredded coconut

2 tsp poppy seeds

1/2 cup cow’s milk(optional)


  1. Clean agathi leaves, wash and keep separately.
  2. Wash boiled rice in water(2-3 times) to get rice water. Strain it to remove impurities.
  3. In a big pan boil rice water.
  4. Add agathi leaves, shallots and cumin seeds. Let the leaves cook till soft. You can add some more plain water if necessary, so that the final consistency is thin.
  5. Add the required salt.
  6. Grind coconut and poppy seeds to a fine paste and add. Let it boil for two more minutes. Finally 1/2 cup cow’s milk can be added. This step is optional.(MIL’s mom used to do). No tempering is done. Not even a drop of oil is added.Enjoy agathi keerai saaru with rice.



June 25, 2013. Tags: , , , , . chetti veetu samaiyal, Curry/Gravy, Healthy Recipe, Pathiya samaiyal, Sidedish.


  1. Radha replied:

    Which unpolished rice variety is good for daily meals?
    Did you use a brown rice or red rice?
    Do we need to soak the rice prior to cooking, for how long, and use that water for cooking or make saru? Or you say we use excess cooking water after the rice is cooked for saru?

    Doesn’t agathi leaves have too much iodine in it, hence I’m scared of it.

    I like these posts. Please teach us how to cook for nutritional value, especially whole grain millets and rices. My diet is really suffering due meats, milk and processed foods high in salt. Please help.

    • hema replied:

      Hi Radha, thank you for visiting my blog.Red/brown rice- boiled variety is good for health than white rice.Currently I am using red rice.
      For this particular recipe my MIL used water in which white rice was soaked for 5 minutes and then rubbed nicely and washed.
      Alternatively we can use red rice water too. Agathi is one of the few leafy vegetables which provides iodine. As far as I know no harmful effects.The only contraindication I know is, that one should not take agathi leaves while under siddha medication,which can reduce effects of medicine.
      I am glad that you like my posts.I have already posted few millet recipes. Planning to post more on millets in the future. Keep visiting 🙂

  2. Radha replied:

    Where are your millet dishes? How to find them?

    Oh, she soaks uncooked rice? Or cooked rice? See I feel the milling powder in uncooked rice is not good. They use talc and I think this comes out in soaking . The starch in this water might release too fast in our bodies which might not be good for sugar levels which is why we drain this water. I cook my rice mushy like pongal to not waste this water hence I’m scared to do this dish. Can you advise?

    Which specific red rice is good for daily meals? I tried eating red rice but got Unwanted affects. How to avoid this?

    Do you soak your red rice, for how long? Do you use soaking water to cook or throw away?

  3. Radha replied:

    Do you use rock salt or regular commercial salt?
    If rock salt how to get our daily need for iodine?

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