Vali / Basale / Malbar Spinach is a leafy creeper vegetable extensively grown in most parts of India. These are green palm sized oval shaped leaves with thick stems climbing plant. It is known under various common names, including Pui, vine spinach, red vine spinach, climbing spinach, creeping spinach, buffalo spinach, Malabar spinach etc. It is also known as Mayalu in Marathi in Mumbai. Both the tender stems and the leaves are used while preparing the curry. We GSB Saraswats are highly partial towards this vegetable. These are grown even in the backyard of the houses by making provision of small sticks for the plant to support climbing. If the leaves are very large, we even make small sized Patrado out of it.
We GSB Saraswat’s prepare mainly two types of dishes out of these one Ambat and the other bendi …. Ie. giving them either onion seasoning or with garlic. For Ambat churned dal is added while bendi is prepared by using only masala. Non vegetarians prepare these using dried as well as fresh prawns know as ambat but dal is avoided adding when fish is used. This vegetable adapts itself very well with any other vegetables also. Served with hot rice this is a very filling and satisfying meal for us. I have already prepared various dishes of vali and posted them before eg. Vali with dried prawns, Vali with fresh prawns etc. Today I have prepared the Vali Talsani using fresh prawns. This is a dry dish. I have added sambar powder as the masala powder for the same. Do prepare this awesome dish, goes very well with chapati or paratha.
Peel and chop 18-20 garlic cloves to small pieces. Keep this ready aside.
Clean 20 – 25 large sized fresh prawns by remove the outer shell part and also the head and tail part of it, also de-vein it. Wash in plenty of water and keep it ready aside.
Wash and chop the leaves of one large bunch of Vali / Basale / Malbar Spinach finely.
You should at least have 6-8 cups of chopped leaves. Cut the stems into 3 inch pieces. Rinse in colander under running water. Put both the chopped Vali leaves along with the cut stems in cooker and add about 1/4 cup of water. Pressure cook all to 1 whistles. Remove the pressure by releasing the pressure gently by lifting the weight of the pressure cooker with tongs.
Be careful and do not stay close to the cooker. Do not release all the pressure forcefully in one go. Release little by little till done. If not used to this method just cook the vali with the stems in little bit of water in a thick kadai till done and keep aside ready.
Heat 2 tblsp of oil in a thick bottomed kadai. When hot lower the heat and add in the chopped garlic and fry till golden brown in colour. Now add in 2-3 tsp of sambar powder and fry well. Now add in the drained prawns and salt to taste and mix well. Let cook for 2 minutes. Now add in the cooked vali and mix well. Do not add any water. Add salt if necessary only. Mix well, cover and cook till dry and done.
The talasani is done. Let the dish stand aside covered for 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve the Vali Prawns Talasani with Dal-Chawal. But this dish tastes good with Roti or paratha. Enjoy.