Malabari Spinach Curry: A Healthy And Spicy Curry From Karnataka
Image Credit: Youtube/ Udupi-Recipes

Only Indian cuisine can boast of such a variety! Take any vegetable and there will be hundreds of ways in which it can be prepared. Here is an irresistible recipe featuring aromatic and flavourful Malabari Spinach in a coconut-based curry flavoured and tempered with traditional spices and powders. 

Malabar spinach has a distinctive flavour and aroma, but when prepared as a curry, it tastes deliciously fantastic. When served with steaming rice, the fibre-rich sensitive stem of this spinach tastes luscious and juicy. The most popular way of eating Malabar spinach is in the form of a rice side dish. Malabar spinach curry has coconut, some spices and little amount of lentils as well. The coconut and lentils give the curry a good consistency where spices give the actual deliciousness.

Malabari spinach has a lot of health advantages and is high in antioxidants. It can be used to treat anaemia patients since it is high in iron. The high vitamin A concentration can be utilised to keep the vision in good condition.


    6 cups malabar spinach/basale or use regular spinach(palak) instead

    2 cups vegetable like unripe papaya  or bottle gourd

    salt to taste

    ¼ tsp turmeric

    1 tbsp jaggery 

    2 cups water adjust to your liking

    ¼ cup dry beans, optional

For the masala paste

    ¾ cup fresh coconut

    4 tsp coriander seeds 

    ½ tsp cumin seeds 

    ½ tsp black mustard seeds 

    2 tsp horse-gram 

    4-5 dry red chillies , adjust to suit your taste

    ½ cup water

    ½ cup chopped onions

    6 big cloves garlic or 12 small cloves

    ¾ tsp oil

    tamarind gooseberry sized

For hot oil seasoning/tadka

    1-2 tsp oil preferably unrefined coconut oil

    1 dry red chilli 

    1 sprig curry leaves optional

    ½ tsp black mustard seeds


Roasting the spices

    In a heavy bottomed pan, on medium heat, roast coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chillies in a few drops of oil, until toasted and fragrant (take care not to burn the spices)

     Take these spices out onto a plate

    In the same pan roast horse-gram on medium heat until it changes colour and smells nicely toasted, it may also start to splutter, take it out onto the plate.

    In half tsp of oil roast chopped onions and garlic until they are nicely golden

Prepare coconut masala paste

    Add roasted spices, roasted horse-gram, coconut, tamarind to a blender or mixer-grinder, with enough water to blend and blend into a smooth paste

    Coconut should be at room temperature, if not, use warm water so that fat from coconut doesn't separate

Making the curry

    As spinach stalks take longer to cook, first cook the stalks in enough water

    Add salt, turmeric, then cover and cook

    When the stalks are half cooked, add chopped raw papaya or bottle gourd if using

    When vegetables are almost cooked, add malabar spinach

    Add jaggery

    Add cooked beans, if using

    When the vegetables are cooked, add in the ground masala paste

     Thin it with water to your desired consistency

    Taste and adjust salt and jaggery to your liking

    On medium heat bring the curry to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally

    Cook for two more minutes and turn off the heat

Hot oil seasoning/tadka

    Heat oil in a small heavy bottomed pan

    Add mustard seeds and broken red chilli

    When mustard splutters, add curry leaves and pour the oil, along with the spices over the curry

    Cover. Mix and serve with rice 

If you do not have and do not like coconut oil, use any oil you prefer. But to get the authentic Konkani flavour, please use only coconut oil!!