Healthy · Indian · Konkani · Maharashtrian · Vegetarian

Mom’s recipe – Mayalu Bhaji (Malabar Spinach spicy sabzi)

Malabar Spinach also called  “Mayalu in marathi” and “Vali bhaji” in konkani. Malabar spinach is found in  backyard of every Goan house. This is lush green and grows mainly in summer season.
My parents are here and it’s fun when they visit us especially during the summer months. Well, when Mom is here, then it’s always time for authentic Konkani or Maharashtrian food! The other day we went to the local Asian market and found some nice Malabar Spinach. We immediately remembered this nice tasting curry recipe and decided to buy it and have it for dinner. It was yum!


Serves: 6
Cooking time: 35 – 40 mins


1 bunch malabar spinach (mayalu)
1 cup onion, finely chopped
½ cup onion, sliced
1½ tbsp coconut oil
5 dry red chilies
1 tbsp coriander seeds (dhane)
1 cup coconut, grated
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp garam masala or Malvani masala, and adjust as per spice tolerance
1 tbsp jaggery (gul)
3 cloves garlic, medium size (optional)
1½ tsp salt, or adjust as per taste


1.  Heat ½ tbsp coconut oil in a small pan on medium-high heat. Add coriander seeds and dry red chilies to the pan. Roast until the coriander seeds are browned. Then add grated coconut and roast until the coconut turns slightly browned. Keep it aside.
2.  After the roasted coconut mixture completely cools down, add it to a mixer-grinder. If required, add a little warm water to grind into a fine paste.


1.  Rinse and pat dry mayalu.


Separate the leaves from the stem and roughly chop the leaves. Cut the stem in 1 inch pieces. Keep the leaves and stem aside.
2.  Take a kadai and add finely chopped onions to it. Layer the chopped mayalu leaves on top of onions. Then add another layer of mayalu stems on top.
3.  Keep the kadai on medium heat. Add 2 cups of water and ½ tsp salt to the kadai. Cover it with a deep flat lid and pour 1 cup water over the lid. Cook until the mayalu stems are completely steam cooked.
4.  Once the mayalu is completely cooked, uncover the kadai, add jaggery, turmeric powder, Malvani masala and 1 tsp salt to the kadai. Mix well and cook for 5 mins.
5.  Add the ground coconut masala and 1½ cup water to the kadai. Mix everything together and bring to a boil. Then turn off heat.
6.  Tempering / Tadka : Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a small pan on medium-high heat. Add garlic to the pan and saute till it turns brown. Then add sliced onions and fry until crispy and brown. Then turn off heat.
7.  Add this tempering to the kadai on top and quickly cover the pan with the lid, so that the aroma stays in and mixes with the mayalu.

Serve with rotis or white steamed rice.

spoonful O’ tips

1.  Covering the kadai with a lid would help keep steam trapped inside the kadai. Adding water over the lid will add extra weight on the lid to seal it down better, less steam will escape from kadai and allow the steam to condense and drip back into the kadai. This will keep the kadai from boiling dry and help the mayalu stems to cook faster.
2.  To check if the mayalu stems are properly cooked, pierce them with a knife. Knife should smoothly pierce through the stem.
3.  After cooking, add more water if required.



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