I have become a bit obsessed with amaranth greens, both the red and green variety, because they are delicious and so full of nutrients. They are quite easily available where I live and getting large fresh bunches of them from small organic farms makes me so happy.
This is a very simple recipe that stands out in terms of flavor. The quick sautéd greens are infused with a garlic and chilli paste that is both spicy and delicious. The earthy greens pop with spice and garlic, the perfect combination.
This is a wonderful cookbook that is packed with traditional dishes. The book was written by Archana Pidathala as an ode to her grandmothers cooking. This book is so much more than a collection of recipes, it brings to my table a history of the cuisine and people. Wonderfully written and with beautiful photographs, this cookbook fills a gap in my bookshelf in a cuisine that I know very little about.
For more delicious, and spicy, dishes from this cookbook, click here.
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon split white urad dal
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2-3 dried red chiles
15 curry leaves
1 onion, finely sliced
A pinch of turmeric powder
Salt, to taste
8-9 cups packed amaranth greens, red or green, washed in 3 changes of water and left whole or sliced
10 garlic cloves
1 heaped teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
Cilantro, to garnish
Heat the oil in a large shallow pan or wok. Add the mustard seeds, urad dal, cumin seeds and dried red chiles and stir for 30 seconds till the seeds are just colored ad the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add the curry leaves and sauté for 30 seconds more. Add the onions and cook on medium heat till they are golden in color, about 5-7 minutes. Add the turmeric and salt and give the mix a quick stir.
Add the amaranth leaves and cook till the leaves are just wilted and they have given out its liquid.
Meanwhile, in a small mortar and pestle pound the garlic cloves and the chilli powder till a very smooth paste is formed. Do not add water. You also do not want to use a small blender as you will need to add water or will not get an even paste.
Add the chili-garlic paste and ground coriander seeds to the barely cooked leaves and stir well to mix in evenly. Cook for 2 more minutes till the garlic has softened and no longer tastes raw. Taste and adjust salt.
Serve hot topped with a cilantro garnish as a side dish with any meal.