Cheera Ada curry is one of the long-lost curries from the royal kitchen of Travancore (Trivandrum, Kerala) . It is usually made as a green spinach mash with red spinach fritters. It is creamy and aromatic. Since I don’t get red spinach here, I made with green spinach itself both gravy and fritters.
My Facebook friend Ammini Ramachandran asked for this recipe. I told her that I have tasted it, but never made it myself. So, before I gave her the recipe, I had to find the recipe, and try it to make sure it is tasty. Luckily, I was able to find a good recipe from a friend of mine.
Usually red cheera or the red spinach fritters are eaten with a crumbling on top of the gravy. I found that it is difficult when you serve it so made small fritters and dunked into the gravy. This is easy but delicious and aromatic curry.
Original recipe is heavy on the green chilies, I reduced the heat a bit and made it suitable for our taste. You can increase the number of green chilies to suit your level of heat. I used a bunch of spinach, with this you get 2-3 servings, you can double or triple it according to your requirements.
Gravy is rich and creamy from cashew nuts and fresh coconut, the only spice used in original recipe is cumin seeds. I added a little cumin powder and coriander powder in the gravy too. It requires two major steps, first make spinach fritters and then gravy. Since we don’t have red and green spinach divide the spinach and make fritters and gravy.
I also blanched the chili along with spinach to remove the rawness, if you don’t want it, you can skip it. I think this way the pungent heat from the chilly is reduced.
Final touch of addition of cardamom makes it perfectly aromatic. Give it a try. My hubby told me you can make this curry more often. That is best compliment I can get from him. This will goes well with bowl of rice or even chapati or roti or bread of your choice.
Cheera Ada curry (Spinach fritters in creamy coconut cashew gravy)
- For cheera ada/ fritters
- 1 ½ cup packed chopped spinach
- ¼ cup rice flour
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon water
- Peanut oil for frying
- For Curry
- To blanch
- 2 cup/137g packed spinach
- 1 thai chili if you want more spiciness then increase
- To grind
- ½ cup fresh coconut grated
- ½ cup water
- To soak
- 10 cashews
- ¼ cup water
- For curry
- ½ tablespoon coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1-2 red chili
- 1 sprig curry leaves I didn’t add it
- ¼ cup red onion chopped finely
- 1 clove garlic chopped finely
- 1 teaspoon ginger minced
- ¼ teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- First wash and soak the cashew nuts in ¼ cup water and set aside.
- To make fritters with spinach, rice flour, cumin seeds, red chili powder salt and water.
- Then fry them in the medium heat oil until everything crisp up
- Drain from the oil and remove the excess oil using kitchen towel and set aside.
- In a medium pan heat water and blanch the spinach for gravy and Thai chili. Then drain and transfer to blender, add coconut and grind it into a fine paste and set aside.
- Then make cashew paste with soaked cashews and water and set aside.
- In a pan heat coconut oil, then mustard seeds and red chili and when mustard seeds start crackle add red onion, garlic, ginger and curry leaves then fry until the raw smell goes. To this add spinach-chili-coconut paste and then cashew paste. Cook until the gravy leaves oil, on a slow fire, stirring all the time.
- Then add cream and switch it off.
- Then add fried spinach fritters into the gravy and sprinkle cardamom powder and enjoy with bowl of rice or chapathi
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This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.