Sunday, August 30, 2020



The Malabar Spinach is a climbing vine much akin to the usual spinach. It is also called Vine Spinach. This plant has numerous health benefits. In Konkani, my mother tongue, we call it as "Vaali". It is known as Basale Soppu in Kannada.  

We make "ambats" quite frequently in our Konkani cuisine. These are coconut-based curries which have lentils and vegetables in them. Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for:- 
Today's recipe is for an ambat made with Malabar Spinach and is called Vaali Ambat. In this dish, we use  both the leaves and the stems, which we call Dhento. 

Tip: I usually add 1 tsp of raw rice while grinding the masala to improve its texture. 

  • Vaali ( Malabar Spinach) , 1 bunch or about 250-300 gms 
  • Thuar Dal, (Split Pigeon Peas), 1/2 cup 
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1 cup
  • Roasted Byadgi Red Chillies, 6-7 
  • Tamarind, size of a small marble
  • Raw Rice, 1 tsp
  • Onion, 2 ( 1 for the dish +1 for seasoning) 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp

Wash the Vaali leaves and the stems 
Remove the Vaali leaves from the stems and chop them roughly 
Select the tender stems and chop them 
Chop the remaining not so tender stems (Dhento) into 1" pieces 
Chop one of the onions into big pieces
Finely chop the other onion ( to be used for the seasoning)  

Wash the thuar dal and pressure cook in adequate water  for 2-3 whistles or till done. In the same cooker in another vessel cook the dhento
Once the cooker cools, remove the cooked dal and dhento stems, 
Mash the cooked dal and keep aside 
In a mixer jar, grind together the coconut gratings, roasted Byadgi red chillies, tamarind, and raw rice adding the required amount of water, to a smooth paste
In a vessel, cook the Vaali leaves, the tender stems and the chopped onion in adequate water for about 5 minutes 
To this, add the ground paste you have just prepared, the cooked dal and the dhento
Add salt to taste, mix well and adjust the consistency (by adding a little water only if required) and bring to a boil 
Lower the flame and simmer for about 5 minutes stirring from time to time
Switch off the gas
In a small pan, heat oil and on medium heat add the finely chopped onion and sauté till the onions turn golden brown
Pour this seasoning on to the Vaali Ambat
Transfer to serving bowl and serve hot with the main meal 

1 comment:

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