Friday, 2 December 2011



1)    Vaali (a creeper amaranthus called vashala cheera or valli cheera in Malayalam) with stem – 250 gm. (basella alba or basella rubra)

2)    Half ripe Nendran banana – 2 Nos. (400 gm.)

3)    Jaggery (unrefined cane sugar) – 100 gm.

4)    Tor dal (split pigeon pea lentils) – 150 gm.
5)    Coconut – ½
6)    Onion – 100 gm.
7)    Dry hot red chilies – 5 Nos.
8)    Coconut oil – 1½ tablespoons
9)    Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
10)                      Salt – 1¼ teaspoons

To Cook:
Wash the tor dal. Drain and put in a pressure cooker with 500 ml. of water. Tip in the turmeric powder. Close the lid and set on the stove. As soon as you hear the first whistle, lower the heat         and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool naturally.
Wash the vaali. Pluck off the leaves from the vaali stem and cut into 2 or 3 pieces each. Cut the stem into 5 cm. long pieces. Peel the Nendran banana and cut into 1½ cm. thick discs. Set a small pan on low heat. Put in a few drops of coconut oil. Tip in the dry red chilies. Stir and roast for a minute. Set aside. Peel the onion and chop into very fine pieces. Grate the coconut.
Put the grated coconut and the roasted red chilies into your food processor. Add a little water and grind to super fine paste. Select a thick flat bottom vessel or a deep non-stick pan. Put in the vaali leaves with their stems and also the Nendran discs. Tip in the salt and a glass of water. Set on high heat. Stir occasionally and cook till the banana and the vaali leaves are soft with a thick greasy broth at the bottom. Lower the heat.
Set a small vessel on low heat. Pour in 50 ml. of water and put in the jaggery. Stir till it is fully melted. Sieve the melted jaggery and pour it into the vaali-banana vessel. Turn up the heat and stir nicely. Let boil for 3 minutes remembering to stir continuously.
Now add the coconut-chili paste and stir well. If the curry is too thick for you, add a little water. Bring to a boil. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Switch off the heat and cover with lid.
Set a small pan on low heat. Pour in the coconut oil. Add the chopped onion. Stir frequently until the onion is fully caramelized but not burnt. Now lift up the lid and pour in the entire contents of the pan into the curry.
Stir nicely and serve hot. As you eat this curry, you can feel your heart dance with joy.

1)    Konkanis prepare vaali ambat on the occasion of Kapada Arti, ie. a pooja in celebration of the first pregnancy of a newlywed bride.
2)    Vaali ambat can be served both as a side dish to a rice feast or as a dessert or even as a main sweet dish.
3)    If vaali is not available at your place, you can use palak or any thick leaved spinach.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

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    You have nice recipes.I will come back to check.


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