Basale Soppu Kodhel – Malabar Spinach Sambhar

With the end of summer, and advent of monsoons we start spotting the Basale or Malabar Spinach in the market. Mom’s dal-based coconut curry is my favourite preparation. Steaming hot rice, fish-fry and this curry is one of the staples at home. We have not been able to get fresh fish these days due to the lockdown as the fish market needs a rickshaw ride and is best avoided. The second best option we settled down was nungel meen or dry fish. The stock of dried shrimp and other dried fishes surface up especially during such ‘crisis’. Oorpel ari da nuppu or red boiled rice and some appala/papad is what brings it all together.

The super long vine of Basale I got from our nearby market

Here are the recipes for my moms basale soppu kodhel and Yetti Podi Chutney (Dry Shrimp Chutney) that I have enjoyed preparing and relishing.

For Basale Kodhel

1 bunch Malabar Spinach Leaves
Stems of Malabar Spinach (Boiled Seperately)
1 cup cooked toor dal

Masala paste
1/2 grated coconut
6 Byadki Chillies
1/2 Lime-size of Tamarind
1/2 tsp haldi

Tadka
6-8 garlic pods, chopped
1 tsp Rai
1 chopped onion

Method:
Grind the masala paste ingredients to a smooth paste
Heat some coconut oil. Add in the rai and let it splutter.
Now add in the garlic and onion and let it soften.
Stir in the masala paste, cooked dal and boiled stems of the Malabar Spinach.
Add a little water and salt. Let it come to a boil.
Lastly put in the all the leaves and let it cook for 2 minutes before turning off the flame

For the Yeti Podi Chutney

Ingredients:
1 cup cleaned and roasted dry shimp (Nugel Yetti)

Masala Paste
1/2 a Grated Coconut
5-6 Byadki Dried Red Chillies
1/2 Onion
2-3 pods of Garlic
Lime-size ball of Tamarind
1/2 tsp Haldi

Tadka
1 tsp rai
1/2 onion

Method:
– Clean the shrimp in water.Pat dry. Roast on medium flame till completely dry again.
– Grind the masala paste ingredients to a coarse paste
– Heat coconut oil. Add the rai and let it splutter.
– Now add onions and let it brown.
– Stir in the masala paste and the shrimp.
– Saute for a few minutes. Done.

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