Malabar Spinach or Basale is the most commonly available variety of greens in my hometown. It’s definitely the one to be seen on my parents’ dinner table most often. We have a beautiful big Malabar spinach creeper in our farm and there is always enough greens throughout the year.
We mostly make Basale Kodilu, Basale Gassi or a simple stir-fry (Palya) with it but this time I thought I’ll experiment a little and try something else. There were some fresh black pepper fruit pods that was harvested the same morning. I was quite smitten by their gorgeous colours and fruity taste. Fresh black pepper fruits taste much milder the the dried ones.
The mild heat of fresh black pepper fruits worked very well with Malabar spinach, apart from looking lovely and colourful. Garlic as always makes everything aromatic and wonderful. This dish can be served with chapati/Indian flat bread or rice. I think it can taste quite good on noodles or even by itself as a warm salad.
The flavor of the dish fully depends on fresh black pepper fruits but I know it’s not always available to everybody. In that case you can use mild fresh red chilies, which are fruity and not too hot.
This dish will taste equally good with regular spinach or any other kind of greens.
Reduce the amount of garlic used to suit your taste.
Here’s another recipe using fresh black pepper fruits - Pickled Black Pepper with Lime & Green Chili
- 4-5 cups of Malabar Spinach leaves
- 1 cup potato, peeled and cut into cubes
- 3-4 tbsp oil
- 8-10 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp of crushed black pepper fruits
- 1 tsp red chili powder (optional)
- salt to taste
Wash the spinach, peel and cut the potato, crush the garlic and black pepper fruit.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the crushed garlic. When the garlic turns light golden add the crushed black pepper fruits. Fry for a couple of seconds and add the potato. Let the potato cook in oil for a few minutes till it’s almost cooked.
Add the greens and toss for everything to combine well. Cook in high heat till the greens wilt. Season with salt and cover and cook till the potatoes are fully cooked.