This south Indian style spinach coconut curry made of spinach leaves (palak) in coconut gravy is made following Kerala style recipes. This is made without coconut milk, but using freshly grated or dry shredded coconut (unsweetened coconut) that is mixed with spices to make the gravy.
This is kind of a cheera ozhichu curry recipe or cheera moru curry using palak spinach leaves & coconut as the main ingredients.
This is very similar to Kerala moru curry recipes using vegetables & coconut like tomato moru curry, cucumber moru curry (vellarikka moru curry) etc!
(Spinach is commonly known as cheera in Kerala, but the variety of spinach leaves that is more commonly used in Keralais different from palak spinach)
This curry using green leafy vegetables and coconut is healthy, easy to make and goes great with rice for a vegetarian/vegan lunch or dinner.
You can use regular spinach leaves (palak leaves) or baby spinach leaves, just make sure to use fresh leaves to prepare this dish.
This curry is made using palak cheera or spinach, but you can also make this curry using the more popular variety of green cheera in Kerala, also known by the name thotakura in South India, which is known as amaranth leaves in English (thotakura in English is known as amaranth which is the popular variety of green cheera that is used in Kerala recipes).
Amaranth leaves (which is technically different from spinach leaves but you can substitute spinach leaves with amaranth leaves if you have them) is very nutritious and used in South Indian cooking very much.
I have this easy delicious amaranth leaves stir fry with coconut and spices here!
However, here I have used the most popular variety of Indian spinach, which is the palak spinach leaves (which you may replace with amaranth/thotakura leaves if you wish).
I didn't chop the leaves to make the curry, but you can chop the leaves if you wish.
In fact, if you are using baby spinach leaves, you do not need to chop the leaves but if you use regular spinach, you may chop the leaves if needed.
In the below picture, spinach coconut curry is served with rice.
This vegan Indian spinach curry is perfect to be enjoyed with rice for lunch or dinner if you are following a vegan or vegetarian diet.
The words cheera ozhichu curry in malayalam language can be translated as spinach curry which can be poured over rice and you can just mix and eat the rice.
In India the spinach curry is most popularly made with dal or lentils to make spinach dal or spinach lentil recipes.
However, in the South Indian state of Kerala, we like to pair many dishes with the tropical coconut flavor (coconut is abundantly available in Kerala) and so this spinach coconut gravy or curry recipe is also made in the same way.
This kind of simple vegan Kerala style curries are popularly used as the main side dish for rice especially for Kerala style vegetarian or vegan dinners.
The recipe is very flexible you can always personalize the recipe by adding your own favorite flavors 🙂
As I mentioned above this spinach curry is not only vegetarian but it is vegan as well which means this spinach coconut curry is free from dairy products like yogurt.
The spinach is slightly sauteed and cooked along with few spices and then the coconut gravy is added and blended into the curry by cooking in very low heat.
This spinach coconut curry is a perfect side dish for rice especially if you want a Kerala style ozhichu curry without yogurt.
This recipe do not uses yogurt, however, you can add a little yogurt to this dish if you like (if you are not vegan), which will make it more creamy and more rich, and its a great combination too!
See the note section in the recipe card for more on adding yogurt to this dish if you wish to do so.
The gravy of the dish is prepared by blending fresh coconut with spices.
You can try other vegetables and different spice combinations as well, however, this spinach coconut combination along with blended spices is very simple yet delicious when served with brown rice or white rice for lunch or dinner.
So here is my recipe for cheera ozhichu curry for rice - Indian spinach coconut curry Kerala style recipe.
How to make Indian spinach coconut curry?
We use the following ingredients to make easy, tasty spinach coconut curry.
ingredients to make spinach coconut curry
2 cups fresh spinach leaves (chop the leaves if you like it that way)
1 cup coconut grated or shredded
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds powder
1 tablespoon garlic crushed (2 to 3 cloves)
2 green chilies
salt as needed
2 cups water add little more if needed
1 teaspoon mustard seeds (or use cumin seeds)
4 dry red chilies (broken) optional
curry leaves a few, optional (make sure there is no water in the leaves)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Step by step instructions
In a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds.
When the mustard seeds starts spluttering add broken dried red chilies and curry leaves fry for a few seconds (if you are using cumin seeds instead of mustard leaves, you just need to lightly fry them until light brown in color).
Add the spinach leaves to the pan along with salt, stir fry in low heat for about 4 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile let us prepare the coconut spice blend for the gravy.
In a bowl, mix well the remaining ingredients - coconut and spices, garlic, green chilies and water. Blend all the ingredients in the bowl together to make the coconut gravy for the curry.
Add this blended coconut gravy to the spinach, mix well, add enough salt and cook in medium to high heat, stirring as needed.
Once the curry starts boiling, switch off the stove and transfer the pan away from heat. Serve the curry hot with rice for lunch or dinner!
Notes: You can chop the spinach leaves if you wish, as I have mentioned in the instructions.
Also if you are not vegan, you can add ¼ cup of thick yogurt (well stirred with spoon or whisked to avoid any lumps) which can be added to the curry once its done cooking.
If adding the yogurt, make sure to mix it well with the curry so it will blend well with the coconut gravy.
You may also add the yogurt early, but make sure to cook in low heat (if adding yogurt) to avoid any curdling of yogurt.
More easy spinach curry recipes in this blog:
easy palak paneer without cream
palak paneer dhaba style recipe
black bean spinach curry in instant pot
Below you can get the recipe for Indian spinach coconut curry in deail.
Indian Spinach Coconut Curry
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves (chop the leaves if you like it that way)
- 1 cup coconut grated or shredded
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic crushed (2 to 3 cloves)
- 2 green chilies
- salt as needed
- 2 cups water add little more if needed
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (or use cumin seeds)
- 4 dry red chilies (broken) optional
- curry leaves a few, optional (make sure there is no water in the leaves)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- In a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds.
- When the mustard seeds starts spluttering add broken dried red chilies and curry leaves fry for a few seconds (if you are using cumin seeds instead of mustard leaves, you just need to lightly fry them until light brown in color).
- Add the spinach leaves to the pan along with salt, stir fry in low heat for about 4 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile let us prepare the coconut spice blend for the gravy.
- In a bowl, mix well the remaining ingredients - coconut and spices, garlic, green chilies and water. Blend all the ingredients in the bowl together to make the coconut gravy for the curry.
- Add this blended coconut gravy to the spinach, mix well, add enough salt and cook in medium to high heat, stirring as needed.
- Once the curry starts boiling, switch off the stove and transfer the pan away from heat. Serve the curry hot with rice for lunch or dinner!
Good recipe.. My family like that very much
Thank you, I am glad your family liked this recipe!