Malabar Spinach Masala (Vali Sukke)

Malabar Spinach Masala (Vali Sukke)

A bowl of steaming hot rice, dalithoy and vali sukke is comfort food at it's best for most Konkani's. Makes a hearty lunch, dinner.

Vali sukke in Konkani means a coconut based spicy side dish prepared using malabar spinach. Sukke means dry in Konkani. Vali refers to malabar spinach in Konkani. Vali sukke makes a delicious combo with plain rice or with rice & dalithoy, and also with curd rice.

Malabar spinach is Basella alba. Also, called as Ceylon spinachIndian spinach. They are highly nutritious!

Here's goes the recipe to make a healthy, delish, spicy vali sukke:


  • 1 big bunch of malabar spinach, when chopped gives you atleast 5 cups of spinach, serves 2. Spinach leaves reduce in quantity considerably on cooking.
  • 1 cup of grated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
  • 1 lemon sized of tamarind
  • 5-6 dried red chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • 8-10 garlic cloves
  • 1 big onion
  • 3 tablespoons of oil

Serves: 2-3

Preparation Time: 40 minutes 

Method of preparation:

1. Pluck the malabar spinach leaves off its stem, wash them well, roughly chop them and keep it aside.

2. Peel garlic and slightly smash them using a pestle so that it gives out it's flavour into the dish.

3. Peel onion, roughly chop it. Keep it aside.

4. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a tempering pan, add in coriander seeds, dried red chillies and fry them for 2 minutes. Fry until you get the aroma of fried red chillies or until coriander seeds start popping. Remove them off heat and allow them to cool completely.

5. Once fried red chillies and coriander cool down completely, grind it into a smooth paste along with grated coconut, salt and tamarind. Use as little water as possible as we need a dry dish in the end. Keep the ground masala aside.

6. Heat oil in a wok. Add in smashed garlic and fry them until it turns golden brown.

7. Then add in chopped onions and fry them until they become translucent. Add salt to fasten frying of onions.

8. Then add in the chopped spinach, ground masala and mix well. Cook closed on medium heat.

9. Cook closed until the spinach is cooked through and soft. 

10. Check and adjust salt. Spinach leaves give out enough water to cook it through. Add about 1/2 cup of water if required to blend in all the ingredients together and to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the vessel. 

11. Remove off heat once the spinach is cooked through and the ingredients have blend in all together and the dish is dry. 

12. Serve sukke hot with a bowl of steaming hot rice and dalithoy.

Side Note: 

1. You can cook this in a pressure cooker adding about 1/2 cup of water along with ground masala. Cook it for a whistle.

2. You can add tender, mature spinach stems as well, along with the leaves to this dish if you like eating them. 

3. You can add about 3/4 - 1 cup of water all together, provided you like 'sukke' watery. Sukke are usually dry side dishes of Konkani cuisine.

Other Malabar spinach Konkani cuisine dishes:

Malabar Spinach Stir Fry (Vali Upakari)

Malabar Spinach Coconut Curry (Vali Randayi)

Malabar Spinach Tambli (Vali Tambali/Thambali) 

Malabar Spinach In Coconut Chutney (Vali Sasam)

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: Malabar spinach, vali, sukke, spicy, side dish, lunch, dinner, Konkani recipe, Konkani dish, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food, Basella alba, Ceylon spinach, Indian spinach