Cassava and spinach subzi.

Our Cassava and Spinach Subzi recipe is inspired by the subzi we enjoyed so much in our thali lunch at Solitude Farm Cafe in Auroville. Subzi is a Tamil word referring to a dry curry. Spicing is still present but these recipes omit the fluids that make the usual curry or spicy gravy Indian dishes are so famous for. Subzis leave a dry combination of vegetables and spices instead.

Cassava is a tuberous root also known as tapioca or yucca. Drought tolerant, it grows well in tropical climates. Cassava is the main staple and feeds over half a billion people in the developing world.

This Cassava and Spinach Subzi recipe combines cassava’s starchiness with fresh spinach for a hearty and nutritious side dish. Pro tip: You cannot eat cassava raw. You must boil it to remove the cyanide that accumulates in the plant while growing. The texture and taste results of this subzi are well worth the extra bit of effort in the preparation.

Cassava and Spinach Subzi Recipe



1 lb cassava (frozen or fresh, peeled and chopped in bite-size pieces)
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 long sprig fresh curry leaves
1 cup chopped onion (1 onion or 3 shallots)
2 teaspoons garlic paste – or to taste
2 teaspoons ginger paste
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 packed cups spinach
1 teaspoon salt – or to taste


  1. Boil the cassava until fork tender, drain, cool and set aside.
  2. Heat a wok on medium-high, add the coconut oil and once hot, add the mustard seeds once they pop and sputter, add the fresh curry leaves for 30 seconds followed by the onion and cook until lightly brown.
  3. Stir in the garlic, leave for 30 seconds then add the ginger followed by the coriander and cumin for another minute or until fragrant.
  4. Stir in the cassava and spinach leaves and cook until the cassava is heated through and the spinach is wilted.
  5. Season with salt to taste.
  6. Enjoy as a side in a thali or with dosa or other vegetables and dal.


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