Growing Malabar spinach

Quite a surprise it was when I found this bowl on the window ledge behind the kitchen tap. Our cook had salvaged a few stalks of Malabar spinach and was growing them. They’ve put out enough roots to be potted now. The right time too, what with the old creepers now seeding. I could plant a few of them. It takes about two months for the seeds to grow. In the mean time these will grow to produce new leaves. I can use them along with the remaining berries. It looks like a wonderful time ahead.

New departures

The Family took the thick stems left over from a batch of Basella alba and stuck them into a pot full of earth. The edible leaves are known as Malabar spinach to vendors in Mumbai, pui shak to Bengalis , mong toi to Vietnamese, remayong to Malays, alugbati to Philippinos, and san choy to Chinese. Now new leaves have begun to sprout on our balcony and we might soon to able to harvest batches for our food. We’ve only tried it with other veggies, though I believe that they taste wonderful cooked with the tiny shrimps that you get in the monsoon.

Someone had dropped some cucumber seeds into a forgotten plant, and we discovered a vine curling out of it today. We have to tease it on to the railing of the balcony now, but I do look forward to harvesting the leaves quite as much as the fruit. In fact I wanted to eat the flowers more than the fruit, but The Family does not agree. Now I realize that I could grow a pumpkin vine. We can get good pumpkin in the market, but I haven’t eaten their flowers for years because you don’t get them in the market. A vine at home will solve that problem. All these leaves can go into salads and soups. I’m looking forward to these new flavours.