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close up Malabar spinach and potato stir fry on white plate

Malabar Spinach and Potato Stir-Fry

  • Author: Casey
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 side dish or 1 meal 1x
  • Category: stir-fry
  • Cuisine: Assamese
  • Diet: Vegan


A quick, 6-ingredient stir-fry featuring a tropical, vining spinach.


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 12 green Thai bird chilis, slitted down the middle
  • 1 potato, cut into wedges then diced into cubes no more than 1/2 inch wide
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 pinches turmeric
  • 1 cup loosely packed Malabar spinach leaves (regular spinach okay, too.)


  1. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. When hot, add the coconut oil. When the oil is hot, add the green chili(s) and the mustard seeds. Cook until the mustard seeds start to splutter and jump (this usually takes about 30 seconds).
  2. Turn the heat down to medium-low and and add the potatoes, stirring to coat the potatoes in oil. Keep cooking for about 9 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan. About halfway through, add a sprinkle of salt to the potatoes.
  3. When 9 minutes is up, add the water and continue cooking until the water has evaporated. This helps to soften the potatoes and cook any larger pieces. Keep cooking your potatoes until they are tender but not falling apart (for me this was one more minute). 
  4. Add the two pinches of turmeric and stir until coated. (Don’t add too much turmeric here. We’re looking to add a bite to the sweetness of the potatoes, not turn your stir-fry electric orange!)
  5. Finally, turn off the heat and add the spinach leaves. Keep stirring until the greens change from light green to deep green and just begin to stick to the potatoes.
  6. Serve with an additional sprinkling of salt on top.


It’s totally fine to use regular spinach if you don’t have any Malabar spinach lying around at home.

Recipe adapted from Rumi Cooks.

Keywords: potato, spinach, Malabar spinach, vegetables, veggies, vegetarian, vegan, stir-fry, simple