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Tamarind amaranth from Palakkad (Pullitta keerai)

Updated: Mar 22

Amaranth is one of the healthiest greens available, and I try to use it in my cuisine as much as possible. I love the earthy flavour of the greens, which are delicate and delicious.

This simple recipe brings together the earthy greens with spice from the chillies and tartness from the tamarind. The flavours play with each other well, making this a lovely side dish on any table. Serve this dish with rice so that you also enjoy the gravy.

This is another cookbook from Chandra Padmanabhan that I adore. The recipes are varied across the southern states of India, and each recipe turns out very well. The recipes, like this one, are authentic and wonderfully flavoured. This cookbook is for those who want to go beyond the ordinary and enjoy very localized cuisines from the South.

For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.


4-5 green chillies, slit longitudinally

4-5 cups amaranth leaves, finely chopped

2 cups water

2 tablespoons tamarind paste

Salt, to taste

2 teaspoons coconut oil

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

Add the tamarind and water to a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 4-5 minutes till the tamarind no longer tastes raw.

Add the green chillies, amaranth leaves, and salt to the tamarind water and boil. Allow it to simmer for 2-3 minutes until the leaves are wilted and green. Remove from the stove. It would be best to have a thick curry with some liquid. Taste for salt and adjust as needed.

Heat the oil in a small pot and add the mustard seeds. Fry till they splutter in about 20 seconds. Pour over the curry and serve immediately with rice.

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