Malabar spinach and Raw papaya curry:

Malabar spinach is commonly known as Basale in our coastal area. It is a common creeping vein in the backyard of every household.

Its leaf is very rich in iron, fibre, antioxidants and vitamins and low in calorie. Malabar spinach is a go getter veggie at any given point of time. You can harvest, as soon as the main stem is growing and spreads all over. Snip the leaves and use the stems as well.

On the other hand, raw papaya is also a power house of nutrients and it is a natural cleanser of intestine and colon.

Like Malabar spinach, Papaya tree also plays an integral part in our garden. May be because of the easy availability, we have a couple of traditional dishes with Raw papaya and one curry is this. Our elders had so much knowledge to include all the goodness in their cooking. One such recipe is Raw papaya and Malabar spinach with a freshly ground coconut masala. It can be relished with Boiled rice or white rice. It is an overall package of health benefits from both the veggies.


Malabar spinach – one small bundle

Raw papaya – 1 small

Onion – 1


Jaggery (optional)

Red chilli powder – 1 tsp

Toor dal – ½ cup

For Masala paste:

Coriander – 1-2 tablespoon

Cumin – 1 tsp

Methi – ½ tsp

Dried red chillies – 5 to 6

Tamarind – 1 tsp

Coconut – 1 to 1 ½ cup


Coconut oil – 1 tablespoon

Mustard – 1 tsp

Red chilli – 1

Small onion – 1

Curry leaves – 1 spring


-Wash Malabar spinach leaves, chop them and keep them aside. Cut it into 2 to 3-inch pieces if you are using its stem.

-Chop Raw papaya by removing the outer skin and the inner seeds. Dump in a water bowl to remove all the oozed latex and drain.

-Wash Toor dal; if you have chopped Malabar spinach stem, combine it and cook with dal by adding turmeric and salt.

-When toor dal is ready, remove the lid, add a little water, salt, jaggery, red chilli powder, Papaya pieces, and chopped leaves. Cook for one whistle.

-Now prepare masala by roasting methi, coriander, cumin and red chillies in a little oil. Grind into a paste by adding coconut, tamarind and water.

-Add the ground paste to cooked veggies, adjust everything, boil and add seasoning.

-To season, heat oil, splutter mustard, red chilli, curry leaves and chopped onion. When the onion becomes brown, add it to the curry.

-Serve with Hot rice.

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