Malabar Spinach aka Cheerah


Indian food is diverse, colorful and vibrant in flavor, but most of the dishes showcased in Indian restaurants today reflect just one region in India – the North.  Believe me, I LOVE IT, but what people do not realize is that there’s a plethora of cuisines across the Indian sub-continent that is just as good as the fare of the North.  My family is from the Southern part of India and its rarely represented in restaurants and never understood that, it tastes completely different and it is just as good.  Come to think of it, whenever I sat in my mom’s kitchen while she cooked, using what I thought to be different & mysterious ingredients. She would tell me the English and the Malayalee ( names of them. And for whatever reason , and I’m sure this happens to a lot of us, when its in a different language sometimes you  just can’t imagine any other name for an item other than the one in your language .

So when I came across this article on, a bulb went off in my head – Malabar Spinach – could it be Cheerah?? What I called Cheerah my entire life and thought it was a mysterious plant actually has an English name!!?? My mom did say it’s a different variety of Spinach but I guess I did not put much thought about it until I saw this article and thought woah it sounds incredible and exotic. Now every time I eat Cheerah Thoran it would translate to Malabar Spinach Sautéed with Spicy Coconut. Makes Malayalee food sound amazing right?  I think I might have found my next project.?

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