Malabar spinach referred to as basale soppu in Kannada and Bachali kura/aaku in telugu is one of the popularly used green leafy vegetables in South India. Rich in Vitamin A, C, calcium, iron and protein, it is obviously good for health.
Bachalikura aaku pappu or Malabar spinach dal is another of the popular Andhra recipes.
Preparation time: 25-30 mins
Bunch of Malabar spinach (bachalikura/basale soppu) 1
Pigeon peas (toordal/kandipappu) 1 cup
Green chillies 2
Red chillies 2
Tamarind/tamarind paste (chintapandu) ½ blob/1 tsp
Refined cooking oil 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds (rai/aavalu) 1 tsp
Cumin seeds (jeera/jeelakarra) 2 tsp
Black gram (uraddal/uddipappu) 1 tsp
Curry leaves 4-5
Ginger (allam) 1/4th inch
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Pinch of asafoetida (hing/inguva)
Pinch of turmeric (haldi/pasupu)
Chopped coriander 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Wash and finely chop the Malabar spinach and onions. Slit the green chillies and chop the coriander and ginger.
Pressure-cook the pigeon peas, Malabar spinach, tamarind/tamarind paste as available, green chillies, a tsp of cumin seeds and a pinch of turmeric together. Cook to 3 whistles. Set aside.
Heat oil in a pan/kadai (Bandli/mookudu). Add mustard seeds and as they pop, add cumin seeds, red chillies, curry leaves, black gram and a pinch of asafoetida. Add chopped onion, ginger, and sauté until brown.
To this seasoning, add the cooked Malabar spinach-pigeon pea mix, salt to taste, a spoon of red chilli powder, chopped coriander and mix. Add a little water if required and boil for a few mins.
Spicy and tangy, bachalikura pappu or Malabar spinach dal is done. Serve with hot ghee topped rice and papads. Being a nutritious leafy dal, it makes a great Indian bread combo too.