Kodi pasalai bajji – Malabar spinach fritters

kodi pasalai bajji - Malabar spinach fritters

The red vined Malabar spinach (kodi pasalai) grew as an ornamental arch at my parents’ place. As children, we used the leaves to pretend play spinach and hated it when mum cooked it. The slightly slimy texture of the Malabar spinach was the reason for the spurn.Β  Once mum did the deep-fried, Malabar spinach fritters with it, we self-invited ourselves to tea and brought in all the kids from the neighbourhood as well. The bajjis kept coming from mums kitchen and so did the non-stop giggling to match the monsoon rains from us.

Try out the konkan basale gassi

Though a very distant relative of the regular spinach. Malabar spinach or vine spinach leaves are fleshier and heartshaped and thicker than spinach. The kodi pasalai is a favoured green to add to many South Indian recipes as the plant survives the harsh summer easily. Slightly slimy when cut, the leaves and the tender stems are the ones that are used. The malabar spinach tastes well in curries like the ones we have on our blog.

Check out the channa and Malabar spinach dry curry.

Kodi pasalai is easy to grow from stem cuttings from the Asian grocer I was very amazed when my batch grew back from the seeds we had placed in the pots from the last year’s stem cutting growth. Good potting soil and a way that the vine can climb up is what you need to set up. Good watering produces thinner softer leaves throughout ut summer to autumn. The plant dies under frost, but the seeds grow back next season, so save purple-black seeds. So today’s monsoon themed recipe is with the homegrown Malabar spinach (basale).

Instant bajji batter mix


Someone rightfully said that the moment rains start in India, the veggies toll themselves in the batter and jump into the hot oil to become tasty pakodas!! Since bajjs, bondas and pakodas are the favourites for rains I had no look back to making some Malabar spinach fritters when Shobhaji (check her moringa soup recipe) called in for monsoon recipes.
The pitter-patter rains certainly call for share bajji platters with coconut chutney and garam chai. Since bajjis happen more often through this rainy weather keep some of this instant mix ready to use. Check out the quick video link above for one of the most useful pantry ingredients.

Kodi pasalai bajji

Malabar spinach fritters made with an egg free, gluten free, nut free batter is perfect for an evening snack or an appetizer while gathering with family and friends.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snacks
Cuisine gluten free, South indian


  • frying pan


For the batter

  • 2 cups malabar spinach leaves and tender stem.
  • 1 cup instant bajji mix
  • 1 cup water ( use a little at a time as the leaves leave a lot of water)

For frying

  • 2 cups cooking oil


For the batter

  • Finely chop the cleaned leaves and stem of the malabar spinach.
  • Add this to a mixing bowl.
    Malabar spinach chopped.
  • Add a cup of the instant bajji batter mix and mix both together.
  • Let this mix sit for 5 minutes so that the salt can release the water from the spinach leaves.
  • Mix the batter gently and add a tablespoon of water at a time to make a batter with a thick dropping consistency.
  • Set this aside till the oil heats up.

For fry the bajjis

  • Heat the cooking oil in a khadai or frying pan.
  • When the oil is warm test the oil by dropping a tiny amount of the batter. If it instantly sizzles the oil is ready.
  • Drop in the batter, a tbsp at a time in the hot oil.
  • You will be able to drop multiple ones in the oil at a time.
  • Move the bajjis arouns in the oil and flip them over so they become golden brown.
  • Drain from the oil on to an absorbent paper.
    malabar spinach bajjis.
  • Serve the bajjis hot with chutney and chai.
    kodi pasalai bajji - Malabar spinach fritters
Keyword Malabar spinach recipes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


shh cooking secretly
Preethi, my partner for the challenge offered Rice flour and asafoetida as the ingredients. The winter rain was on as a coincidence so win-win!! A handful of the backyard pasalai leaves with the instant bhaji mix to test and we have an easy tasty tea snack ready. Preethi’s blog is a perfect hideout of Singapore inspired recipes and neem flower recipes. Don’t miss to check it out the nutrition-rich horsegram and peanut soup that she has made for this partnership.

malabar spinach fritters.
Hope you like our tasty endeavours. When you make any of the recipes from our collection, please tag #mildlyindian so we can be a part of your happiness. Share the link, save it for the future or pin it onto your board.
See you at the next post.

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Shobha Keshwani
2 years ago
Rating :

Malabar spinach pakoras look so crispy and inviting. A perfect snack to enjoy with a cup of masala chai on a rainy day.

Mayuri Patel
2 years ago
Rating :

Must admit have not tasted Malabar spinach but definitely has gone on the list to try out. Like the idea of keeping the bajji mixture for whenever required. Kodi pasalai bajji look so inviting, wish I could have some.

Preeti Shridhar
2 years ago
Rating :

The Malabar spinach bajjis look super crispy and crunchy. I must say ideal companion on a rainy day. I like the idea of keeping bajji mix ready in the pantry to rustle up bajjis in no time.

2 years ago

we didn’t like the sticky texture of this keerai when pati used to make it then, but we all grow wiser right? As for these pakoras, ahem ahem…that’s a totally delicious story πŸ™‚ cant wait to try these, Seema πŸ™‚

The Girl Next Door
2 years ago

The fritters look super crunchy! These would be just the perfect snack for a rainy evening. 😊 I haven’t used Malabar spinach much – this would be a wonderful way to try it out.

2 years ago
Rating :

The bajji looks so crispy and yummy, perfect with some tea

Jayashree T.Rao
2 years ago
Rating :

Kodi pasalai bajji looks so crisp and tasty. They make good snack with masala chai.

Poonam Bachhav
2 years ago
Rating :

Love how crispy and super tempting these Malabar Spinach fritters look ! Perfect teat time treat !

2 years ago

Crispy and crunchy pakoras with malabar spinach look so tempting seema.. I never tried these greens in my cooking as it is not available where I live, but will love to add these healthy greens whenever I get it store near

2 years ago
Rating :

Malabar spinach fritters looks very inviting, just need cup of tea to enjoy these fritters in this mansson season. If bajji mixture is ready, it’s very easy to prepare these fritters, loved your idea.

Meera Girdhar
2 years ago
Rating :

Wow Malabar spinach pakora looks super tempting. I am feeling Nostalgic as my mom use to make these very often. The best part of your recipe is to keep bhuji mix ready . Loved the idea

Anu Kollon
2 years ago

I have made malabar spinach with dal but never tried to make fritters with them. These look so delicious and super crisp. Must try.

2 years ago
Rating :

Malabar spinach bajji looks so crisp and delicious. Can’t wait to try your recipe to enjoy the wet weather here.

2 years ago
Rating :

I love kodi pasalai and these pakoras look so crispy and crunchy. The perfect treat for a rainy evening.

Sasmita Sahoo
2 years ago
Rating :

Malabar spinach fritters seem so tempting here seema ! Also love this egg-free, gluten free, nut-free batter. Just perfect for the evening time snack or even as an appetizer in a party menu !

Priya Vj
2 years ago

Malabar spinach pakoras look fresh and crisp . Nice way to add in the tender stems also to the pakoda batter .

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