Malabar Spinach | Poi Calaloo, Ceylon-, Surinam-, Chinese-, or Vietnamese (mong toi )spinach, Malabar climbing spinach, broad bologi, poi baagi, calaloo and buffalo spinach.
I have been planting and mentioned previously our standard spinach varieties on site but today I want to talk about Malabar Spinach…
According to CarribeanSeeds.com :Malabar is not a true spinach, but its’ leaves, which form on a vine, resemble spinach and are used in the same way. It comes from India, and is distributed widely in the tropics, particularly in moist lowlands. In Florida, it is rare, even in home gardens.
Typical of leaf vegetables, it is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium. It is low in calories by volume, and high in protein per calorie. It is a particularly rich source of soluble fiber, valued for removing mucus and toxins from the body. The plant is also a rich source of chlorophyll.
Among many other possibilities, Malabar spinach may be used to thicken soups or stir-fried with garlic and chile peppers. Use in Caldo Gallego as substitute for Acelga. Malabar Spinach isexcellent for freezing for later use without loss of its excellent flavor.
These are a joy to see grow as the climb and shoot of the most beautify broad leaves. They produce seeds and tiny pretty flowers.
Malabar Spinach on wiki:
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 withgarlic and chili peppers.
In the Philippines the leaves of this vegetable is one of the main ingredients in an all vegetable dish called utan that is served over rice.
In Karnataka Cuisine (Karavali and Malnad regions), the leaves and stems are used to make Basale Soppu Saaru/Curry (Especially in combination with Jackfruitseed). In Bengali cuisine it is widely used both in a vegetable dish, cooked with red pumpkin, and in a non-vegetarian dish, cooked with the bones of the Ilish fish. InAndhra Pradesh, a southern state in India, a curry of Basella and Yam is made popularly known as Kanda Bachali Koora [Yam and Basella curry]. Also it used to make the snack item bachali koora bajji. In Odisha, India, it is used to make Curries and Saaga (any type of dish made from green leafy vegetables is called Saaga in Odisha). In the Western Ghats in Maharashtra, India, it is used to make bhaji (भजी).
The vegetable is used in Chinese cuisine. It has many names including flowing water vegetable. It is often used in stir-frys and soups. In Vietnam, particularly the north, it is cooked with crab meat, luffa and jute to make soup.
In Africa, the mucilaginous cooked shoots are most commonly used.
Malabar spinach can be found at many Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian, etc. grocery stores, as well as farmers’ markets. It has been shown to contain certain phenolic phytochemicals and it has antioxidant properties.
Have you ever tried Malabar spinach? How do you like to cook it? I enjoy these highly nutritious greens in my salads, omelettes, stir fry and in juicing, although its slimy and meaty in texture when raw it is very delicious and something you need to acquire a taste for.