Bachhali is a leaf vegetable. Binomial name is Basella Alba. It is also known as Malabar Spinach/ Chinese spinach/ buffalo spinach.
Typical of leaf vegetables, Malabar spinach is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium. It is low in calories by volume, but high in protein per calorie. The succulent mucilage is a particularly rich source of soluble fiber. Among many other possibilities, Malabar spinach may be used to thicken soups or stir-fries with garlic and chili peppers.
My mom used to make lot of recipes with Bachhali. To list few (Kanda Bachhali, Bachhali pulusu with Magaya, Bachhali pulusu etc)
We get this vegetable only summer time in Southbay unlike India. In India it is available through out the year.
Today I made soup using this vegetable.
Here is the recipe for same. Thanks to my mom for teaching me all these recipes.
1 bunch of Bachalli(Malabar Spinach)
2 cups of butter milk (should be sour. if butter milk is not to sour add 1tbsp of tamarind juice)
4 green chilies (slit length wise)
pinch of turmeric
1tbsp besan(chickpeas flour)
1tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3 curry leaves
3 red chilies
Mix buttermilk with chickpeas flour(besan) and keep it aside. (This will help buttermilk not to curdle while cooking)
wash, chop and cook the vegetable using 1/2 cup water. Once the vegetable is cooked reduce the flame add turmeric, green chilies,salt and buttermilk mix.(note: If buttermilk is not sour enough add 1 tbsp tamarind juice along with buttermilk mix) Cook on low heat for 6 to 8 mts. taste and adjust spices and remove it from heat.
Seasoning: In a separate pan heat oil add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chilies and curry leaves. Once mustard seeds splutters remove it from stove and mix with soup
Delicious and healthy Bachhali Pulusu is ready to be served. I love this pulusu/soup with mudda pappu(Lentil) and rice.