Spinach Tambli/ Spinach in Buttermilk Sauce

Tambli is a cold, yogurt based accompaniment to rice. However, it is not popular amongst the folks from the interior plains! The unfamiliarity of the dish is portrayed pretty well in the Kannada movie 'Galipata' -the Kite. In the movie the hero visits his friend's family somewhere in Malenad region and is unable to identify the dish. He likes it but asks his hostess to serve him the 'green colour oil paint' kind of emulsion. It was funny. It is indeed what happened with us when we were eating at a friend's wedding. In this particular wedding that took place in Sirsi, they were serving all sort of strange food !!! Something called Kashaya instead of beverages, (a potion which is given to us when we are kids) then Mosaravalakki for breakfast!! (that is our fasting foods), then the feast itself. We did not know what to expect and we filled our stomach half way through the feast and regretting it later. I wish we had know to take it slow, or may be we had someone familiar with such feasts to guide us. But then it is history. The next time we are invited for a wedding in that part of the world, I am sure to do a better job.


For the Tambli, actually local greens are widely used like Amaranth etc. But we hardly find it in markets here. So had to do with what ever is available on hand- in short, spinach.

Spinach 1/2 lb
Coconut 1/4 c
Green chillies 1
Ginger 1/2 " piece about 1/2 tsp if grated
Curry leaves 8-10
Oil 1 tsp
Hing a dash
Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Dry red chilly 2 beak into pieces
Buttermilk 2 cups or yogurt 1 cup


  1. Wash and drain the spinach well. Chop it coarsely and pop it in the microwave for a few minutes till cooked but vibrant green in colour.
  2. Alternately, Cook the spinach with little water on stove top. Set aside and cool
  3. Combine the cooled spinach, coconut, ginger and green chillies in a blender and blend it till smooth.
  4. Whisk the buttermilk well. If using yogurt, beat it well and combine it with a cup of water and beat it into a homogeneous mixture.
  5. Combine the spinach puree and the buttermilk/yogurt.
  6. To make the oggarane/tadka, heat oil in a pan. Throw in the hing, mustard seeds, curry leaves and dry red chillies. Once the spluttering stops, pour over the spinach buttermilk mixture. Adjust salt.
  7. Serve it with rice.

This goes out to the RCI Udupi Mandalore hosted by Sia, started by
Lakshmi .

RCI-Udupi & Mangalore


Pavithra Kodical said...

Tambli is my favorite in summer.Easy to make and tastes great with rice :)

Lakshmi said...

Naanu basale tambli maadthene, the one in the photo looks inviting kanri..

Savi-Ruchi said...

tambli is my ever fav, you would have known it from my blog too :)
Spinach tambli looks yummy Smitha

suvi said...

oh this sounds yum!!

Kannada Cuisine said...

@ Perfectly agree with you Pavithra..

@LG, Basale soppu andre yavudu anta ne nanage gottagtilla Lakshmi!! Sushma nange artha madisakke try madidru but I dont think I have seen it here in the market anyways.

@Sushma, Very well know that you love tambli and make dozens of variety..

@thanks Aquadaze

Medhaa said...

looks delicious, and sounds lovely. Will try it sometime

Kannada Cuisine said...

Thanks Medha

Deepthi Shankar said...

I too love tambli .. so good during summers alva

Kannada Cuisine said...

Howdu Deesha!! its cool and comforting as well.

ARUNA said...

This sounds yumm.....different recipe!

Sudhir R said...

Must taste good. Maybe I should visit halle mane as suggested by you and see if this Tambli would be available

Kannada Cuisine said...

@ Sudhir,
I wonder if they have it in Halli mane, chances are they do. But otherwise it is so easy to prepare as well.. goes wel particularly on a hot summer day

Namratha said...

That must have been some wedding experience!! :) Tambli looks refreshing and good to beat the heat.

Shoma said...

@Smitha: basale soppu is called Malabar Spinach or Basella Alba in English.

Anonymous said...

I bought this Malabar Spinach and I had no idea how to cook it. Infact I didn't even know the name "Malabar Spinach". I stumbled upon ur recipe and it did look tempting enough to try. And to my surprise , it came out so well. Yummy. Thanks for the recipe.