Basale soppu or Malabar /Ceylon Spinach is also called as mayalu in Marathi and poi in Gujrathi . It’s very common to see houses in Mangalore growing it and Basale ghassi or Basale koddel is a specialty of the region. Malabar spinach is rich in vitamins A, C, iron and calcium, and is also good source of soluble fiber. The addition of green moong not only increases the protein conent of the dish but also adds a lot of flavour to it.
I was lucky to find the seeds locally and have been making this curry with homegrown organic basala. This is how Basala and payar (whole moong) curry is made in my family.
Ingredients for Mangalore Basale curry:
- Green moong: 1 cup (wash and soak for an hour)
- Basalla /Malabar Spinach: 3 cups (washed, chopped, both leaves and stems are traditionally used)
- Tomato: 2 small or 1 Big
- Salt: to taste
- Tamarind paste: 1/4tsp
- Grated coconut/dessicated coconut: 1 1/2 cups
- Onion: 1 medium, sliced
- Turmeric: 1/4tsp
- Red chili powder(or 8-10 whole dried byadagi chilies roasted): 1-2tbsp (as per your heat tolerance)
- Coriander powder (or 1 tbsp corriander seeds roasted): 1tbsp
- Cumin powder: 3tsp
- Mustard seeds:1/2 tsp (optional)
- Garlic: 2 cloves
- Pressure cook the moong and the basale (leaves and stem) without adding salt for one whistle.
- Grind the ingredients mentioned under grind together to a smooth paste and keep aside.
- Open the pressure cooker (if it’s too small, then transfer contents to a deep vessel), add the ground masala, little water, cut tomatoes, tamarind paste and salt.
- Allow the curry to boil vigorously for five minutes, check for salt, tamarind add more if required. Adjust the consistency if needed before switching off.
- It is traditionally served with rice, but tastes great with chapathis too.
Note: You can add seasoning/tadka if you want, but it isn’t added in our family recipe.