Saturday, June 2, 2012

Valibhaji/ Mayalu and Pej or Malbar Spinach with Rice Gruel


Malbar spinach scientifically called as Basella alba. Malbar Spinach also called  "Mayalu in marathi" and "Vali bhaji" in konkani. Malbar spinach is found in  backyard of every house. This is lush green and grows mainly in summer season.

Medical benefit :
  • Excellent source of calcium,  Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B and iron.
  • Good source of fibers
  • A mild laxative
  • Contain saponins that act as phytochemicals. Fights cancer.(http://www.saponins.com/inhibiting_cancer.cfm")
  • Reduces the risk of anemia: Cooked spinach is an excellent source of iron, a mineral whose reduced levels are associated with Anemia.

This is how we get it in market and is called vali kaat.

Vali-bhaji leaves are a favorite vegetable specially cooked with grated coconut and  fresh mussels. Some people prepare  it by adding dry prawns instead of mussels or sometimes only by putting garlic.But, I personally prefer this vegetable with fresh mussels it tastes awesome.

Vali bhaji  is eaten with  pej (rice gruel). People in coastal line eat this menu of vali bhaji and rice gruel before an hour or two of  lunch.

All required :


Vali bhaji  leaves plucked, chopped, and also the stem been cut into pieces each piece around  2''.
3 Medium sized onions finely chopped
Mussels  1 small cup ( Shell removed, sometimes half shell is kept).

For Masala :

Coconut grated   -1/2 cup
Red dry chillies   - 5-6
Coriander seeds - 2 tsp
Pepper     corn   - 6-8
Mustard    seeds - 1/4 Tsp

  1. In an around a tsp of  coconut oil, fry coriander, pepper and mustard. Grind these fried ingredients together with coconut and red chillies into smooth paste with little water.
  2. In a pan, cook chopped onion and  chopped vali bhaji for around 10 min with lid, the color of bhaji turns to sap green. Now add mussels and cook for another 5 minutes. ** Water is not required as the Malabar spinach leaves waters . In case if all the water evaporates add around 1/4 cup water.
  3. Add the masala paste, which was made in Step 1. Cook for another 5 minutes and Mayaluchi bhaji or Vali bhaji is ready to be eaten with rice gruel.   

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