Water Spinach in Bengali & Indian Cooking Explained

Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach  is widely known as Chinese watercress, kangkung or ong choy. This is a fibrous plant with loads of medicinal benefits that are good for the whole system of your body.

South Asian cuisines enjoy this Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach  to a great extent. This is actually naturally grown in any soil or water to a great extent. This is highly recommended and also easily available.

This Shak does not need so much spices to cook as it tastes good. This is a semi-aquatic tropical plant and it is also cultivated in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas, Hawaii, Florida and California.

There are two varieties of it one is the narrow stem which is green, vibrant color is grown in moist soils and white stems with arrow-like leaves are mostly grown in water bodies.

Water Spinach in Bengali & Indian Cooking

Uses of Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach in Bengali & Indian Cooking

Leafy greens or Shak are considered as a main part of the Bengali cuisines. To be honest this Shak is also loved by north Indians.

In fact the Vietnamese and Chinese cuisines are also having these Shak or leafy greens along with it. There are methi, kolmi, notey, shorshe, palong which are widely used in the Bengali cuisines.

Pragyasundari Devi in her book Amish o Niramish Ahar wrote many tips and combinations of these Shak along with non veg fish and meat.

Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach Bhaja:

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There is no doubt that Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach  is being stir fried along with garlic and sliced onions and red chilli with Nigella seeds tempering stir fry till it is perfectly cooked. That means the water that will be oozing out when you are cooking the Shak will evaporate and get dissolved while cooking.

Aloo Diye Kolmi Shak:

Here you need to cut the soft leaves and stems of the Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach  and then fry it with square cubic cut potatoes and tomatoes.

It is stir fried along with garlic and sliced onions and red chilli with Nigella seeds. Little bit of salt and turmeric can be used and other than that nothing is required.

Kolmi Shak Daler Bori Diye:

The Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach  is cut and cleaned then with Kalonji and dry red chilli tempering it is stir fried so much where daler bori or urad dal nuggets are being used.

Add a little bit of salt and turmeric to cook the whole recipe as a whole.

Kolmi Shak er Bora Shukto:

This is a typical Bangladeshi recipe where the Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach  is being cut and cleaned to make bora with Bengal gram batter with a little bit of salt and sugar.

Then legendary skuto is being prepared with brinjal, pumpkin, potato and ridge gourd. Fry each of these vegetables then cook with posto paste and mustard along with some Methi tempering.

Grated ginger is also being used and at the end salt and sugar is also used.

Ipomoea Aquatica Curry or Kolmi/Kalmi Shaker/Shaager Ghonto:

This is different from the usual komi Shak bhaja or curry. Here the sweet potato, eggplant and plantain are being used. These are all boiled and the Kolmi Shak is being chopped perfectly.

In the oil with a little bit of cumin seeds tempering and dried red chilli the Shak and the vegetables are being cooked perfectly. This is actually Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach  er Ghonto which is garnished with grated coconut.

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Kolmi Shak Curry:

Here the chopped Shak is being cooked perfectly with pumpkin and potato. You can add salt, turmeric, cumin powder and coriander powder. A mishmash is being prepared which is enjoyed as a curry.

Pyaz Wali Kalmi Saag:

Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach  prepared with sliced onion is a popular dish which can be shared with Roti & Paratha.

Chingri diye Kolmi Shak:

This is a non veg dish where chopped Shak is being cooked perfectly with stir fried along with garlic and sliced onions and red chilli with Nigella seeds. Now along with that chingri is being added to it. A good chingri diye Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach  mishmash.

Kolmi Shak with Jackfruit Seeds:

Here the chopped Shak is being cooked perfectly with jackfruit seeds. You can add salt, turmeric, cumin powder and coriander powder. A mishmash is being prepared which is enjoyed as a curry.

Kolmi Shak Er Chorchori:

The Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach is being cut and cleaned perfectly then with other vegetables it is being stir fried with sun dried lentil dumplings.

Here little salt, turmeric, cumin powder and coriander powder are being used to make a perfect mishmash of the entire dish which is why it is known as ‘Chorchori’.

Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach with Besan Dal:

This is a wonderful as well as unique recipe.  Here the Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach is being chopped and fried with a little salt, turmeric, cumin powder and coriander powder.

Then a batter of besan with salt is prepared which is then added to the Shak. Then it is boiled and onion is fried separately which is added over to it. You can put a slice of lemon juice into it.

Kalmi Shak/Water Spinach Sprinkled with Moong Daal:

Here you need to roast the moong daal and add it with the Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach . Then both are stir fried perfectly with a little bit of salt and turmeric.

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In this preparation you have to cook it very perfectly so that the lentils get cooked equally.

What is the Best Way to Cook Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach?

To prepare for cooking you need to cut the stems and trim it down. Then you can separate the leaves.

You can use the stems if those are fresh and then cut it into 3 inches longs. Chop the leaves perfectly and clean everything very nicely.

To cook you need to stir fry the whole thing with patience. You can put oil and kalonji tempering, if you want to use dry red chilli then you can do and then put the Shak in the wok and put the lid on.

Keep it for 5 mins it will start giving out water and, in that water, the whole thing will be cooked eventually. You can add salt, turmeric and other spices as per your recipe.

Questions & Answers:

How Long Does Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach Take to Cook?

To cook Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach you need to cook at least for 15 to 20 mins long.

How Does Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach Taste?

Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach is sweet but has a pungent smell which makes it much more delectable to eat.

How Do You Eat Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach?

We eat Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach by stir frying, making curry and even stews sometimes.

Can You Eat the Stems of Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach?

Yes, we can eat the tender stems of the Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach.

Can You Eat Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach Raw?

No. Indians often do not eat Kolmi Shak or Water Spinach raw.

What is Kolmi Shak Called in Different Languages?

Kolmi Shak is known as Water Spinach in English and Hindi it is known as Kolmi Saag.

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