"Malabar Spinach" is called "Vaali bhajji" in Konkani.
The dish "Vaali Ambat" is very popular in coastal Karnataka ie Mangalore and surrounding areas and until a few years back I was only aware of this vegetarian dish since my mom would make this regularly.
The base is a coconut gravy and the malabar spinach are simmered in it, and then the gravy is seasoned with onions.
It goes well with red rice or white rice.
A few years back on one of my visits to Mangalore, I had been to my Sister-In-Law's (husband's cousin) place for lunch, and she had given a twist to the vegetarian dish by adding prawns.
And all I said was "WOW" I love this dish...
Since then I make this regularly at home.
Malabar Spinach or Vaali - 1 bunch - washed and cut along with stems (if tender)
Prawns - 500 gms
Coconut - fresh/desiccated - grated - 1 cup
Tamarind - 1 small piece
Dry red chilly - roasted - 6
Water - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Coconut oil or any other oil - 2 tsp
Onion - 1 large - finely chopped
Grind together the coconut, tamarind, red chilly and salt along with 1 cup water to a smooth thick paste.
Take a large vessel, add the ground paste, if its too thick you can add 1 cup of water, mix well, now add the chopped malabar spinach/vaali and the prawns, mix well , add salt if required and bring to boil.
The spinach and the prawn will boil in max 7-8 minutes.
Now take a seasoning pan, add oil, keep on low heat, fry the onions till golden brown and pour over the gravy.
Mix well, and switch off the heat.
Serve hot with red rice or white rice.
A perfectly simple yet a very satisfying meal!