‘Basale Thingalavare Gassi’ – Malabar Spinach & White Bean Curry.



{Due to a recent virus attack I lost a whole bunch of recipe on my blog. I am slowly working on posting them back one by one. I am going to start with the recipes I am getting most requests for. If you remember/want to try one of my earlier recipes which is now not in this blog please write to be at chinmayie.bhat@gmail.com and i’ll try to post it as soon as possible. I am basically just going to re-post the recipe as it was. So some of the content might not be so relevant today but my intention is to get them all back  and I  have over 80 posts to re-blog. Thank you! }

'Basale Thingalavare Gassi' - Malabar Spinach & White Bean Curry.


There is a very popular TV show which is being aired right now in India on national television. A famous Bollywood actor, Amir Khan is hosting a talk show called ‘Satyamev Jayate’. It’s basically talking about some of the real problems of India today.

It’s latest episode is about ‘the use of pesticides’ in India. We don’t have cable television at home and I watched the show on Youtube and to say the least the show shook me up completely. Of course there was nothing new in it. It’s all about the use of pesticides on food which we already know about. But every time I hear/see/read about something like this, It shocks me.


Basale or Malabar Spinach


Basale or Malabar Spinach


It is so scary to know that we are actually consuming so much poison every day in the name of food. I am very happy about my decision to move towards organic food. It’s my priority to make sure I figure out more ways to source my food directly from organic farms I know personally. I have also decide that it’s my duty to make sure  that the food we consume is grown ethically.


Basale or Malabar Spinach


I feel blessed that I grew up eating (mostly) pesticide free, local farm food and I want to provide the same for my daughter.


Thingalavare or white beans


I feel really thankful for being able to choose safer healthier food for my family. Today I would like to celebrate this. I am sharing the recipe for a very simple curry recipe. This is nothing exotic, nothing fancy… this is the food I ate while growing up. The greens used here is ‘Malabar Spinach’ or ‘Basale’ as we call it locally. It’s a very common local plant which most people grow at home. This is available through the year and is delicious cooked in a coconut gravy. Today I have cooked it with white beans which we call ‘Thingalavare’. This curry has just a handful of ingredients and takes very little time to make. Serve this with hot Rosametta rice and you have yourself a very healthy, authentic home cooked meal from this part of India.


'Basale Thingalavare Gassi' - Malabar Spinach & White Bean Curry.



You can use cannelloni beans or any other white beans that you have on hand here.

You can also used canned beans instead of fresh beans.

Try making this with regular spinach instead of Malabar spinach.

I don’t really suggest you use desiccated coconut here, use frozen coconut instead of fresh coconut.

Serve this with white rice or red rice if you can’t get rosametta rice.

If you are using dried tamarind fruit, soak it in warm water to extract the pulp.


'Basale Thingalavare Gassi' - Malabar Spinach & White Bean Curry.



  • 4-5 cups of malabar spinach (with or without stems)
  • 1 cup of white beans
  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 8-9 dry red chilies
  • 2 tbsp pf tamarind pulp
  •  3 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic.


Pluck the leaves out for he stems and clean and wash the spinach leaves. if you are using the stems cut it into 3 inch long pieces. I have not used stem int he recipe as we have a lot of greens to be used up. If you are using the stems, first cook the stems for 10 to 15 minutes, till it’s soft and then add the green leaves  to cook. If not cook only the greens with a little bit of salt till it wilts.

Soak the beans overnight and pressure cook it till soft with a pinch of salt. If you are using canned beans, simply drain it and rinse it.

Roast the red chilies with a drop of coconut oil till it turns slightly hard and crisp.

Grind the coconut, red chilies and tamarind into a smooth paste.

Add the beans and the coconut paste to the cooked malabar spinach and slowly bring it to a boil. Add salt to taste and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

In a small pan heat the coconut oil and add the crushed garlic to it. Fry it till it’s golden. Add the oil and the garlic to the curry, close the lid and turn off the heat.

Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes and serve hot with any rice of your choice.

Tastes best with traditional Rosametta rice

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