Morning Glory or Kalmi, Add This Green To Your Plate
Image Credit: Morning glory, Image Source: riversidethaicooking/

In Southeast Asian nations, a lot of dishes have a profuse use of fresh greens or leafy vegetables. Among many, Morning Glory, commonly referred to as water spinach, is a preferred ingredient. It flourishes throughout this region. Morning Glory is frequently used in soups, stews and ramen. The fact that it cooks quickly and tastes delicious makes it a favourite side dish. In fact, stir-fried greens are an essential component of all home meals with a variety of dishes. It is also a staple leafy vegetable in the eastern states of India. In West Bengal, it is called kalmi saag, and kalmi saga in Odisha. 

Morning glory is known as a hollow heart vegetable in China. The hollow and crunchy stems are the reason for the name. Oong Choy, Pak boong, kang kong, water convolvulus and swamp cabbage are other names. 

The indigenous plant, water spinach, grows in swampy areas of tropical countries and is not related to standard spinach. The tender branch tips and younger leaves are preferred, but almost all young plant tissue is palatable. Use the entire leafy portion as well as the upper part of the stalks.

For usage and storage, one need to keep a few things in mind. Thoroughly rinse and shake dry the Morning Glory. Discard any hard bottom stems after breaking the plant into bite-sized sections. Refrigerate the greens in a bag. Use it within 2-3 days as it can wither quickly.

Stir-fried Morning Glory


  • 2 bunches of morning glory
  • 6 cloves of garlic 
  • 2 whole dry red chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper powder (optional)
  • 15 ml oil mustard oil or sesame oil


Thai stir-fried morning glory, Image Source: simplysuwanee

  1. Peel off the garlic and roughly hand-pound them
  2.  Roughly chop the greens, discard the roots and wash them thoroughly. 
  3. Heat mustard or groundnut oil in a wok
  4.  As the oil heats up, add the crushed garlic and red chillies
  5. Stir them for a minute on medium flame
  6. Introduce the greens and give them a thorough stir
  7. The leaves start to wilt when exposed to hot oil
  8. Toss them for a couple of minutes 
  9. Season it by adding salt to taste. Remember not to add salt before this, as it will turn greens mushy, and they lose their crunchiness.
  10. For a Southeast Asian taste, you may add pepper powder immediately after switching the stove  
  11. Give it a final stir

 Plate it with steamed rice to serve