Amaranth species are cultivated and consumed as a leaf vegetable in many parts of the world. It has been used since long in India due to its availability throughout the year and also for its nutritional value. Leafy vegetables are naturally low in fat, high in protein, fiber, iron and calcium.
Cooked amaranth leaves are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. Amaranth may be a promising source of protein to those who are gluten sensitive.
There are mainly two varieties – The green and the red amaranth leaves. The taste is more or less the same, and yes the red amaranth makes a colourful dish. I use both the varieties regularly in my kitchen.
The leaves along with the tender stems are perfect for Stir fry and we can make a curry with the matured stems. My in-laws grow this veggie in their backyard and they get a regular supply of this throughout the year.
This is a very healthy dish prepared using either only the leaves or along with green gram or mung bean to form a healthy vegetable side dish.
– Clean and soak the amaranth leaf for 15-30 minutes in lots of water.
– Chop as fine as possible. Keep aside. Use the tender stalks as well.
– Finely Chop the onion and thinly slice the garlic.
– Heat oil in a pan.
– Add mustard seeds and allow to splutter.
– Add the oil and allow to heat.
– Add the red chili, onion and the garlic.
– Stir fry till onion is translucent. Simmer the heat.
– Add in the chopped amaranth leaves and sprinkle salt and mix well.
– Sprinkle about 4-5 tbsp of water and cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
– Taste check at this stage and if you feel that the greens are not yet cooked, cook for another 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle water if required – Don’t allow to burn at the bottom.
– Add in the grated coconut and mix well.
– Cook for another 2 minutes.
– Remove and serve as a side dish with Rice, Sambar or Rasam.