Amaranth pops up in Mid January in our yard, forming quite a forest. Not only does it look divine with its red and green leaves and hanging red “cocks comb”, those same leaves are edible. And delicious. We have a number of recipes in which Amaranth Leaves can be used.
In this simple, very delicious and healthy recipe, Amaranth Greens are paired with just-cooked split mung dal, cumin and coriander powder. It is a moist dish, not quite dry. It is easy to make and I know that you will enjoy it.
There are many different varieties of amaranth and the tastes will vary as well as the colour of their leaves. Some are more bitter than others. Adjust your spices according to need.
Amaranth Leaves with Mung Dal | Thotakura Kura Pesarapappu
large bunch amaranth leaves
0.33 cup mung dal
1 onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Indian bay leaf, teja pata (leave out if you don’t have it)
0.25 tspn turmeric powder
1 Tblspn coriander powder
sea salt to taste
1 tspn cumin seeds
2 – 3 Indian dried red chillies
1 tspn ghee or Indian Sesame Oil
Soak the mung dal in warm water for at least 30 mins.
Separate the leaves and remove any tough stems from the leaves. Discard the stems, and wash the leaves thoroughly several times. Chop roughly into small pieces. Set aside.
In a kadhai or other pan, heat the ghee or oil and add the cumin seeds. Leave them until they darken and crackle, and then add the chillies and asafoetida. Reduce the heat and add the garlic and onions. Saute until the onions are translucent.
Add the mung dal with its soaking water, the turmeric, coriander powder, the bay leaf and half a cup of water. Cover and simmer on low for 8 minutes or so, until the dal is cooked but is still retaining its shape. Remove the bay leaf.
Add the chopped Amaranth leaves and cook for 3 – 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Serve with roti, poori, or with rice and ghee.
recipe notes and alternatives
In this recipe Toor Dal can be used instead of Mung Dal. The dal needs to be cooked enough but still retain its shape and integrity.