What is malabar spinach
Malabar spinach or Pui xaak(local name) is an Asian vine with leaves that has spinach-like greens. There are two varieties of this vine – green and purple. It is rich in vitamins A and C, iron and calcium. It also has antioxidant properties. It is low in calories by volume, but high in protein per calorie.
In Barak valley region of Assam, malabar spinach grows abandently and in our cuisine it is widely used in a variety of dishes. We use both purple and green variety. Here I am sharing one very simple and nutritious dish made with malabar greens and lentil.
Pui xaak with Masoor daal
Preparation time:30 min+30 minutes(inactive time)
Cooking time: 30 min
Difficulty level: Easy
- 500 gm Malabar spinach leaves with stem
- 1 cup red Lentil (Masoor daal)
- 5-6 cloves of Garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon kashmiri red Chilli powder
- 2 fresh red Chillies
- 1 tablespoon mustard Oil
- Salt to taste
Take fresh malabar spinach and tear the leaves into small pieces. I use both the varieties.
Also peel the hard part of the stems and cut into smaller pieces.
Take 1 cup of red lentil, rinse and soak with water for 1/2 an hour.
Peel and crush garlic cloves and slit some fresh red chillies.
Heat 1 tablespoon of mustard oil in a saucepan and add crushed garlic cloves.
Saute for few seconds to remove the raw smell of garlic and then add the soaked lentil(drained).
Saute for 3-4 minutes in medium heat and then add in turmeric powder, kashmiri red chilli powder (it is less spicy but vibrant colour) and salt. You can adjust chilli powder as per your taste.
Stir well to incorporate the spices and then add 1 cup of hot water. Also add the stems of the malabar spinach.
Cover and cook in medium heat until the lentils cooks completely. Add water if necessary.
When the lentils are soft and mushy, add the greens of the malabar spinach,red chillies and again cook for more 5-6 minutes.
When greens are cooked and become soft , taste the seasoning, add salt if necessary and remove from heat. The dish should be little soupy in consistency.
Delicious and healthy pui xaak with masoor daal is ready now. Enjoy with hot steaming rice.