Skill level

Average: 3.4 (17 votes)


  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 long green chilli, finely chopped
  • 10 curry leaves (see Note)
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 pinch of ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp Maldive fish (see Note)
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 120 g (1 cup) freshly grated coconut or
  • 15 g (¼ cup) shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1 bunch Chinese water spinach (ong choy) (see Note) or English spinach, trimmed, leaves and stems chopped into 5 cm lengths
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time 5 minutes

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, chilli, curry leaves and mustard seeds, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add turmeric, Maldive fish, chilli flakes and coconut, stirring to combine.

Add spinach, then remove pan from heat, cover and stand for 5 minutes or until spinach has just begun to wilt; it should retain its bright green colour. Add lemon juice, season with salt and stir to combine. Serve.



• Curry leaves can be found at greengrocers and Asian food shops.

• Maldive fish are dried fish flakes, available from Sri Lankan and select Indian food shops. Grind bigger pieces with a mortar and pestle.

• Chinese water spinach is available from select greengrocers and Asian food shops.


Photography Brett Stevens