Malabar Spinach In Coconut Chutney (Vali Sasam)

Malabar Spinach In Coconut Chutney (Vali Sasam)

Malabar spinach in coconut chutney is called as vali sasam in Konkani. A very nutritious side dish to go with rice & makes a comforting meal. Here's how you can make it at home.


1 big bunch of Malabar spinach/Basella leaves that makes 4 cups of finely chopped malabar spinach that will reduce to 1-1.5 cups of Basella on cooking.

To make the coconut chutney:

  • 1 cup of grated coconut
  • 1/2 lemon sized tamarind
  • 4-5 green chillies or 4-5 dried red chillies
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • Salt to taste

For seasoning:

  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 leaflet of curry leaves

Method of preparation:

1. Wash and finely chop leaves of Malabar spinach.

You can use tender most stems of Malabar Spinach. How do you know if stems are tender? Snap them, if they break they are tender. Use them in this dish.

2. Add chopped spinach into a pressure, add 1/2 cup water, salt and cook closed for 1 whistle. 

  • You need not add excess water as spinach gives out water while cooking.
  • It is important to add salt in this step, so that spinach takes up salt while its cooking. Or else spinach tastes bland.
  • You can alternatively cook it on flame in a cooking vessel until it cooks through too.

3. Meanwhile grind coconut chutney. Grind grated coconut, green chillies/fried dried red chillies, tamarind, mustard seeds together into a smooth paste using as little water as you can.

4. Transfer ground coconut chutney into a bowl.

5. Let cooked spinach cool down.

6. Once it has cooled down, add cooked spinach along with the water in which it was cooked to the coconut chutney and mix well.

7. Check and adjust salt. Add little water if required. We want it to be considerably thick in consistency and not watery.

8. Seasoning: Heat oil in a tempering pan, add in mustard seeds. When they start popping, add in curry leaves and dried red chilli broken into pieces and fry for a minute or two. Add this tempering to the spinach chutney mixture and mix well. 

9. Vali sasam is ready, serve it with a bowl of hot, steaming rice or with curd rice.

P.S: I add little pepper powder & cumin powder to the seasoning & it tastes a little more amazing. Do give it a try too.

Making awesome mosru bhajji with this vali sasam: Add about 1/2-1 cup of curds to the above vali sasam, it'll taste even more awesome. We call it mosru bhajji at home. Here's the recipe for vali mosru bajji.

Basella are also known as Malabar spinach in India and is called 'vali' in Konkani. We prepare a lot of basella dishes in Konkani cuisine. Some of them are:

Malabar Spinach Masala (Vali Sukke)

Malabar Spinach Coconut Curry (Vali Randayi)

Malabar Spinach Tambli (Vali Tambali/Thambali) 

Malabar Spinach Stir Fry (Vali Upakari)

Malabar Spinach In Spicy, Tangy Coconut Chutney And Curds Gravy (Vali Mosuru Bajji)

We also make spicy fritters (called ambado in Konkani) and spicy dosas (called as sanna polo in Konkani) for lunch, dinner using basella.

Find more Konkani cuisine side dishes here

Tags: Coconut chutney, sasam, vali, malabar spinach, side dish, lunch, dinner, comfort food, Konkani recipe, Konkani dish, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food.