Cook's Hideout: RCI - Andhra Cuisine: Kanda Bachalikura

May 02, 2007

RCI - Andhra Cuisine: Kanda Bachalikura

This is my entry to this month's Regional Cuisine of India (RCI) - Andhra Cuisine, being hosted by lovely Latha (@ Masala Magic). This dish is mostly made during celebrations like weddings, house warming ceremonies etc. This was on the list of my favorite things that I miss about my Mom's cooking.
I did not have enough bachalikura, so I also used spinach. (For authentic taste, use bachalikura without spinach).
Little more information on Bachali Kura: Basella alba Stewaret (syn Basella rubra Linn) Basellaceae; Common English Name:
Malabar nightshade, Ceylon spinach or Indian spinach; Tamil: Pasalai keerai; Hindi: Poi; Thai: Phak ptlang.

Photo Courtesy:
Kanda (Suran) - 1 cup (I used frozen cubed suran)
Bachalikura - 1 cup, chopped
Spinach - 1/2 bunch, chopped
Ginger - 1" piece, minced fine
Green chilies - 6, finely chopped
Tamarind paste - 1tbsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste

For Popu:
Chana dal - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Hing - pinch
Curry leaves - 6

  • Microwave the suran pieces in 1 cup of water for 6-8 minutes, or until the cubes are tender.
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan on medium low heat, add the popu ingredients and when the seeds splutter, add curry leaves, ginger and green chilies. Stir fry for about 30 seconds.
  • Add turmeric and chopped green veggies, cover and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until they wilt down and don't smell raw anymore.
  • Add the microwaved kanda (suran) pieces; cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • With the back of the spoon mash kanda pieces till it becomes smooth. You can leave them chunky, but traditionally this dish has a very smooth consistency.
  • Add the tamarind paste, salt and little water (if needed). Cook for another 5 minutes. Serve hot with rice.
Kanda Bachali kura & Mixed vegetable curry with Rice

Note: Lemon juice can be used instead of tamarind paste in this dish and it will taste equally yummy.

Here's another similar dish from Ammalu's Kitchen - Kanda Palakura Avapetti.


  1. That looks like some delicious comfort food. Pavani, this might be a very silly question, but I'll ask you anyway: what is bachalikura? A type of green leafy veggie?

  2. Oh, kanda bachali. Yum!
    It's been ages since I saw and heard about this curry. Bachali leaves are difficult to find here.

    Hi Nupur, bachali is a leafy green vegetable, the plant is a creep unlike spinach. The leaves are bit thick and used to prepare kura/curry, dal and also dipped in besan batter to prepare bajjis.

  3. looks delicious! never heard of this before what do we call in english??

  4. Hi Nupur, Thanks for the question. I updated the post with some bachalikura (poi) pictures. Maybe it looks familiar.

    Thank you Indira. Thankfully our Indian groceries carry bachali around the year.

    Hi Roopa, pls check the updated post. Hope you can find it in your grocery store and do try the recipe.

  5. Andhra Cuisine is something I have never attempted and totally new to me. Thic RCI will give me scope. Thanks for including some info on the leaves.

  6. We call it 'Basale soppu' in Kannada,similar to that Botanical name!:)

    You are the first RCI Andhra entry?I am green!!!!;D

    Looks fabulous,it's so comforting to see that plate,100% South Indian food.YUM!! I have not eaten Basale in more than 20yrs!!!Wish I could grow some,don't know where you get those seeds!

  7. Hi Pavani, nice dish to highlight, have never tasted this dish, though I'm Telugu myself.

  8. Pavani,

    I love kanda bachali kura, it my dad's favorite too. Can't wait to eat this next time I go to India.represents tru andhra dish

  9. My alltime favourite vegtable.Even if I don't get bachchali I follow the same recipe with spinach and comes out great even with spinach.

  10. Hi pavani,
    This is my favourite too.Is that plate for me?Looks soooo yummy.
    Have a nice day!


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