Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sambar Cheera Thoran Recipe / Kerala Style Ceylon Spinach Stir Fry

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Ceylon Spinach or Sambar Cheera is a popular backyard spinach of Kerala and  rich in Vitamin A and C, calcium, iron, and dietary fiber. A handful of this organic spinach is chopped and stir fried with coarsely grounded coconut, a simple, quick and healthy side dish for lunch.

If you love simple Kerala style cheera thoran try this, it is perfect with hot steaming matta rice.

I  made an easy pulav with Ceylon spinach and I loved the way it turned out, the whole family loved it; one pot meals are a winner always.

I had mentioned about a surgery earlier and by the grace of God and your prayers, I could come home on the the 4th day. My surgery took 3 1/2 hours and my children and Homey was my strength. The surgery was scheduled at 9 AM and I was wheeled out at 4.30 PM to ICU and could briefly see my parents, kids, and Homey.

The night in the ICU is something which I will never forget, cannot have words to thank the two nurses who helped me ease my pain, to me they were my gaurdian angels that long night (thank you Anushree and Clara). On that sleepless night, I felt the busiest and happening place on earth was inside the ICU. The funny thing amidst the pain and suffering was a young boy maybe 19 or 20 was in the bed next to mine. He met with an accident, a head on collision with a truck. He was unconscious with a head injury and some other fractures to the limbs, ribs etc. When he came around, the first thing he asked was for his mobile phone!! and also wanted to check his Facebook! I could not help myself smiling at that.

Okay, back to the world outside and to this recipe, if ever you find this spinach/cheera in your backyard or even your friend's do not hesitate to pick it. I usually dry them out on a newspaper and refrigerate in a Ziploc bag. It does stay good for more than a week.

PS: Look for this pink flower if you are not so sure about the leaves.

I also added this spinach to eggs when I made this simple egg recipe. Try it, you will love it.

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Sambar Cheera Thoran,Ceylon Spinach Stir Fry

PREP TIME: 7 Mins    |  COOK TIME: 5 Mins    |  SERVES: 3-4

   CUISINE : Kerala     CATEGORY : Side Dish
Sambar Cheera Thoran


  • Ceylon Spinach/Sambar Cheera: 1 handful, chopped
  • Whole Red Chilies: 2 or 3, broken
  • Mustard Seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Coconut Oil: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp or as needed
  • To Grind:
  • Grated Coconut: 1/2 cup
  • Green Chilies: 1 or 2
  • Shallots/Cheriya Ulli: 4 or 5, sliced
  • Garlic: 3 or 4, cloves
  • Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp


  1. Wash the spinach thoroughly and allow it to dry. Chop the sambar cheera (Ceylon Spinach)and keep aside.
  2. Add all the ingredients under "to grind" in a chutney bowl and grind coarsely; I like to put the shallots, green chilli, and garlic first and give it a coarse grind and then top with the coconut and turmeric powder and pluse for another 10 second.
  3. Heat a kadai or pan with coconut oil, add in mustard seeds, and whole red chilies.
  4. Add in the coarsely grinded coconut mix and stir fry in the hot oil for a min.
  5. Then dunk in the chopped Spinach/Sambar Cheera....stir well, add salt. Once the spinach is heated, water will start to come out and it will cook fast; keep mixing and stirring. After about 2- 3 minutes, the spinach will be nicely cooked and dry.
  6. Serve with rice.


  • There is no need to add water in most cases as the spinach has some water in itself and there is no need to cover with a lid though if you feel it is a bit dry, you can sprinkle some water if needed.

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  1. Healthy and tasty looking thoran. Excellent pics as well.

  2. I have never seen this kind of spinach before...the stirfry looks healthy and delicious, Nisa.

  3. Healthy green stir fry... Its new to me...

  4. Such a beautiful and dicious thoran, its been a while i have seen these spinach.

  5. i dont know from where can i get these cheera.


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