Malabar Spinach Tambli (Vali Tambali/Thambali)

Malabar Spinach Tambli (Vali Tambali/Thambali)

Tambalis are spicy, tangy side dishes eaten with rice. Spiciness usually comes from pepper and chillies and tanginess from the sour curds used. Tamblis are made from spinach, watercress(ekpanni) etc. 

Vali is Indian Spinach, Malabar Spinach or Vietnamese Spinach. It is called as spinach, but it is a bit different than palak. This is called as basale soppu in kannada and vaali in marathi and konkani. 

Vali is a kind of green grown in almost every backyard in udupi and mangalore region so that they can use whenever they want. The leaves(pallo in Konkani) and stems(called dentu in Konkani) of this spinach are used in making different kinds of dishes:

Malabar Spinach Stir Fry (Vali Upakari)

Malabar Spinach Coconut Curry (Vali Randayi)

Malabar Spinach Spicy Side Dish (Vali Sukke) 

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.

This vali tambali tastes just like bombay bajji sasam.


2 cups of chopped malabar spinach
1 cup grated coconut
1 tablespoons of tamarind
4-5 dried red chillies
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 cup sour curds/yoghurt
1/2 tablespoon oil
Salt to taste

Preparation Method:

Cook chopped malabar spinach leaves with salt and 1/2 cup water until done.

Keep them aside and let them cool completely.

Meanwhile fry cumin seeds, pepper and dried red chillies with few drops of oil for few minutes until the cumin starts to splutter or until you get the aroma of dried red chillies.

Keep them aside and let them cool completely.

Once they have reached room temperature, grind them along with tamarind and coconut into a smooth paste using as much water as required. 

Do not add excess water as tambalis are usually semi dry. Not too dry like a chutney or not too runny.

When its almost formed a smooth paste, add the cooked and cooled malabar leaves and grind just for few seconds.

Transfer the ground tambali into a bowl. Add curds and check and adjust salt and mix well.

Serving Suggestion: 

Serve this delicious and healthy tambli with a bowl of rice, pickle and papad and enjoy.


You can replace black peppercorns and red chillies with green chillies for different taste.

Find more Konkani cuisine side dishes here

Tags: gravy, chutney, tamboli, thambali, tambli, curd dish, cooling side dish, vali, malabar spinach, easy vegetarian recipes, Indian vegetarian side dishes, Karnataka recipes, low fat recipes, refreshments/ summer coolers, Konkani recipe, Konkani dish, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food.