In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Poi Bhagi aka Malabar Spinach Recipe.

Here’s another delicious vegan / vegetarian recipe which I can’t believe I’ve not shared with you all yet. Maybe is due to the fact that I didn’t know much about this dish growing up in the Caribbean, as the choice for making bhagi (spinach dish) was always Chorai (aka Jamaican Callaloo), Dasheen Bush (tender leaves of the dasheen or taro plant) and Pak Choi. The odd time my aunt would put Malabar Spinach in her Dhal, so I that was my real introduction to this leafy green.

You’ll Need…

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion (sliced)
2 cloves garlic (sliced)
1 Pimento pepper aka seasoning pepper (sliced)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (geera)
1 medium tomato (diced)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 lb Malabar spinach
1/2 teaspoon salt

Notes! Please follow along with the aid of the video below as some tips may not be in this post. Especially how I explain how to trim and use the Malabar Spinach. Should you be doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the full list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary requirements.

Wash, trim and drain the Malabar Spinach (we say Poi Bhagi in Trinidad and Tobago). As explained in the video the bigger leaves I ripped into smaller pieces and the tender stems/vine I cut smaller and used in the dish.

In a saucepan on a medium flame add the olive oil, then the sliced onion and garlic. Give it a stir then add the cumin (geera) seeds and sliced Pimento pepper. This is NOT a hot pepper, however you may add any spicy pepper you like and in the amounts you can tolerate. Turn the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes.

It’s then time to add the sorfran (Turmeric) and stir well.

Cook for another 2-3 minutes on low. Then turn the heat up to medium and add the prepared Malabar Spinach. It will pile up, but as it cooks it will wilt.

As it cooks down (be sure to stir well) add the diced tomato to the pan.

Top with the salt. Should you want to add a tablespoon or 2 of coconut cream, now would be the time to do so. Once it comes to a boil (yes natural juices will sprout), reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.

At this point the stems should be tender, if not cook a little longer. To personalize the dish, taste and adjust the salt if necessary and you decide if you want a slight sauce or gravy. I didn’t so I turned the heat up and cooked out that liquid until dry.

My two fav ways to enjoy this lovey vegan dish is on top hot steaming rice or as a side with Sada Roti. You’d basically treat this as you would any Spinach or Bhagi dish.

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1 Comment

  1. Carol
    November 8, 2023 / 8:16 pm

    I’m a vegetarian and I would appreciate more recipes without meat/chicken. But included fish/salt fish. Love…love your recipes. Stay blessed.

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