Friday 13 June 2014

Vali Bendi (Malabar spinach/Basella Curry)



Basella/Malabar spinach or vine spinach is a leafy vegetable found in tropical Asia and Africa. It is a creeper and grows in full sunlight and humid weather. In Konkani, Basella is known as Vali.  It is used in quite a few dishes..
Apart from being a tasty leafy vegetable, Basella has many health benefits as well. It helps in reducing cholesterol and is highly fibrous which helps in digestion. It is rich in vitamins and minerals. 

Vali Bendi is a coconut based gravy tempered with crushed garlic. This is usually eaten with rice. Vali /Basella is used in various Konkani recipes . Spinach/Palak in “dal palak” can be replaced with Basella thus making it which is a tasty variation to the dish.


Ingredients
Basella (chopped) – 4 cups
Coconut – ½ grated
Dried Red Chili – 5 (Guntur Chilli/Spicy Chilli)
Kashmiri Chilli – 2 to 3 (for color)
Tamarind - a small piece (maybe size of two groundnuts)
Garlic - 10 to 12

Method
1.       Wash and chop the leaves.
2.        Put it in a vessel and boil in little water. Do not add lots of water as the leaves will release water.
3.     Lightly fry the red chillies and keep aside. Now grind coconut, red chillies and tamarind to make a    smooth paste.
4.       Once the leaves are cooked (they will wilt and change color) add the ground masala and mix well.
5.       In a wok heat some oil and add crushed garlic. Fry it till the garlic is slightly brownish in color.
6.       Add this to the curry and mix well.
7.       Season with salt 


Serve hot with rice.

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