Malabar Spinach chutney(Vali bhajji sasam)

vali bhajji sasam

All Konkanis are familiar with Vali bhajji (Malabar spinach or basale soppu in Kannada). Many of us grow it in our backyard so that we can use it whenever we want. It is very common to see a wooden structure called mantov on which bhajji grows abundantly. These days we get them abundantly in market or brought to our door steps by vegetable sellers.

Following picture is from our backyard. It is a small plant right now, but will grow nicely in the months to come.Vali bhajji mantov

The most popular dishes with this are vali bhajji randayi prepared in 3 different varieties – with garlic, with green papaya, with prawns etc.

My grandmother used to prepare this sasam frequently at my native at Sirsi.  It is an easy and quick side dish that goes well with chapathis or rice.

1 cup chopped vali bhajji leaves
3/4 cup coconut
3-4 green chillies
1/4 tea spn tamarind
A pinch asafoetida
1 tea spn mustard seeds

Heat a little oil and put mustard seeds. When they start popping, put asafoetida in it. Add finely chopped vali leaves and water (1/2 cup), cover and cook. Cool to room temperature. Keep it aside.
Grind coconut, green chillies, tamarind and salt with a little water to the chutney consistency. Add the cooked vali to this chutney and grind for awhile (2-3 rounds). Leaves should be a bit mashed but should not become a paste. Serve with chapathi or as a side dish with rice.

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 15mins

18 thoughts on “Malabar Spinach chutney(Vali bhajji sasam)”

  1. hi aunty,
    my granny house is in Gokarn. I used to go there for summer vacation. I still remember BASALE SOPPINA BALLI which we used to have with GANJI as side dish.


  2. Hi V aunty,

    This recipe I have heard for the 1st time though we make 1 with coriander seeds, red chillies (roasted) and coconut and grind all of it together,,.
    We also add small shrimp (dried sometimes) or teesryo (as we call clams in konkani)… i dont know what we call that here. We get vaali bhajji here as “pohi” and it is very fresh though it requires a lot of washing as it is very muddy.
    this recipe sounds very yummy… will bring some leaves home and try it soon
    KOmal N.

  3. Varada maiye,
    Namaskar! This dish ‘sasam’ is new to me, I know the randayi and papaya version is ammas fave. wt teppal. tks for sharing this …the dish looks very tasty.

  4. HI!
    Is it mayalu???
    What is it called in marathi??

    Shilpa: When I googled, one of the site says it is called Velbendi. I am not sure about this name. Please click the vali bhajji in the post and you can see another picture. Hope that helps.

  5. Mrs. Varada,
    What a beautiful chutney. I have never eaten anything like this, can only imagine how great it tastes. Thank you for sharing your recipe, it is be great to have such a wonderful cyber Ayi 🙂

  6. This is for Rochin

    Vali akka malabar spinach /chinease spinach is Mayalu in Marathi.

    Shilpa: Thanks Aruna. I will update the glossary.

  7. Hi!!
    Shilpa, Aruna!
    Thanks for your help!! Now I will definitely make it!!!
    Mayalu is also used in sambar, isn’t it???

  8. Hello Mai,

    Nice recipe.
    My mom and subsequently me, substitute tamarind with curd. But needs to be added upon cooling the spinach.

    Best Regards,

  9. Greetings,
    I was looking for a recipe on the Indian spinach and end up in your blog. I grow the red vein. Never thought that a chutney can be made out of this spinach. Will definitly try this recipe, this weekend. I have published your recipe in my blog.

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