Tag Archives: Leafy vegetables

Valchi Bhaji Tel Piyav

Valchi Bhaji Tel Piyav

Valchi Bhaji (Malabar Spinach or Buffalo Spinach)

Always a delight to lay hands on fresh and tender valchi bhaji in this part of the world. In India it is grown in home gardens and easily available. A very simple and easy way to cook is just steaming it with oil, garlic, chillies and onion and garnished with fresh coconut and hence referred to as “Tel Piyav”. Other variations of cooking this spinach is a curry with shrimp or with tur dal or black-eyed beans for a vegetarian version.

Thoroughly enjoyed the vegetable with a meal of steamed rice, raw mango curry and lady fish fry!!


  • 1 Large Bunch Valchi Bhaji about 1 kg.
  • 1 Onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 green chillies
  • ¼ cup fresh coconut
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil


  1. Clean the valchi bhaji.  Separate the leaves from the thick stems, the tender stems keep with the leaves.
  2. Cut stems into large pieces, keep the leaves whole  and soak in salted water for 10 minutes to loosen dirt & kill insects if any. 
  3. Drain, rinse in clean water and drain again. 
  4. Chop the thick stems, tender stems and leaves into 1” pieces. 
  5. Transfer the vegetable to a cooking pot.
  6. Slice the onion, slit the green chillies and crush the garlic and add to the vegetable alongwith the salt and oil. 
  7. Keep on medium flame and cook 10 minutes until stems are tender.
  8. Not necessary to add water as the vegetable will leave water while cooking. 
  9. Add the fresh coconut and cook 3 to 5 minutes. 
  10. Serve hot. 
  11. Makes a very healthy and satisfying addition to any main meal.
Valchi Bhaji Tel Piyav

Cooking with Spinach

Leafy green vegetables are high in nutrients, low in calories, important for skin, hair, bone and overall health, while providing the necessary protein, iron, vitamins and minerals.  It is advisable to incorporate a leafy vegetable daily into our diets for optimum health.  It is also affordable and easy to prepare.

Here are a few easy recipes using spinach:-

  1. Mutton Palak – A delicious non-vegetarian dish using spinach with the least amount of spice, yet full of flavour.
Mutton Palak

2. Hara Bara Kabab – Spinach, Green Peas and Potatoes combined to make the famous Tikkis. Serve as a starter, appetizer or a healthy snack!

Hara Bara Kabab

3. Kashmiri Saag – Spinach cooked with a exorbitant amount of garlic and red chillies, but does not overwhelm the dish, just makes it superbly but mildly spiced with the flavors of garlic.

Kashmiri Saag

4. Dahi Palak – A dish you can throw together in minutes yet turns out delicious. Serve with steamed rice, Khichidi, Pulao or with rotis or any Indian bread.

Dahi Palak

5. Tuna & Braised Onion Salad – A salad which doubles up also as a main course! Just enjoy it with some crusty bread or Pita bread or any Indian bread and your meal is done for the day!!

Tuna & Braised Onion Salad

More ways to cook with leafy vegetables –

Spinach and leafy vegetables can also be cooked using the simple mangalorean ‘Thel Piao” method using green chillies, onion, garlic, a little oil and water and cooking till done and then garnishing with fresh coconut.

Curries like spinach or Valchi Bhaji with prawns, or black-eyed beans are some of popular recipes using leafy vegetables. My recipe for Alun stem with Alasande can be used for these dishes.

The book “Mais Recipes” has the recipes for these dishes.

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