• Samanaa

Basale soppu huli (Vine spinach and coconut stew)

I was overjoyed when I found basale soppu (malabar spinach/vine spinach) on one of the vegetable delivery websites here in Noida. The number of things that a south Indian misses when in North India is innumerable and the happiness and delight you feel when you find something from your homeland is immeasurable (that's how I felt when I found banana leaves here, and the price brought tears in my eyes, and they were not the happy kind 😂). Anyhoo, I decided to make the Malnad special basale soppina huli/sambar and save a little bit for Basale tambli.

This is basically an easy to prepare no-dal sambar and is very nutritious and needless to say, delicious.

Cup measurement used – standard 1 cup = 240 ml

Serves 3


Basale soppu (cleaned and chopped) 2 cups

Black eyed peas (or any legume) (see notes) 1/4 cup

To grind

Grated coconut 1/4 cup

Coriander seeds 1 tbsp

Cumin seeds 1 tbsp

Dried red chillies 2-3

Tamarind 1 tsp

Jaggery 1 tbsp

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste


Oil 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Jeera 1 tsp

Asafetida - a pinch

A sprig of curry leaves


Wash and soak black eyed peas (or kabuli channa or rajma or brown channa) in 1 cup of water for at least 4 hours or overnight. Clean and chop basale soppu and wilt it in a wok till it shrinks, but take it off the heat before the leaves lose their bright green colour.

In a pressure cooker, cook the black eyed peas for 4-5 whistles, till they soften. Now, grind all items under the "To grind" list with 1/2 cup of water into a fine paste. Now add the masala paste and the peas to the sauteed leaves along with 1.5 cups of water and let it simmer for 10 mintues. Prepare tembering by spluttering all ingredients given under "Tempering" in oil and add it to the sambar. Serve hot with rice.

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