How do I get hold of a bunch of red amaranth leaves in this part of the world? You would be really lucky if you stay near a Malayali grocery store where you might find an occasional bunch of red amaranth. The other option is to get the seeds and grow it yourself (only in summer months). Another option would be to become friends with an organic farm and have them grow it for you, which is what we did this summer :-)
Now coming to nutrition; cooked amaranth leaves are supposed to be rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate; (makes sense when we think of how women are fed this when they are pregnant or nursing) plus multiple dietary minerals including calcium, iron and magnesium. Enough reasons to love these tasty and beautiful leaves?
The recipe as mother-in-law makes it has raw mango and/or yogurt. Mango chunks will be cooked along with the amaranth stems. Yogurt quantity should be adjusted or completely eliminated depending on how sour the whole thing becomes with the raw mango.
- Red amaranth leaves - 1 big bunch
- Coconut - 1 cup
- Green chilly - 1-2
- Cumin seeds - 1 T
- Homemade Yogurt - 1/2 cup
- Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
- Sea salt - as per taste
- Virgin coconut oil - 1 Tbs
- Separate amaranth leaves from stems. Tender stems count as part of leaves. Only thick bottom stems need to be separated. Chop leaves fine. Cut a few stems into 2 inch pieces.
- Grind coconut, green chilly and cumin seeds to a coarse mixture. Mix it with yogurt and keep aside.
- Start cooking the cut amaranth stems in about half cup of water and turmeric powder. Cook covered on medium heat till they are about 3/4th done.
- Add the chopped amaranth leaves and continue cooking till the leaves are just wilted. Stir to wilt them evenly.
- Add the coconut-yogurt mix and salt and continue cooking till amaranth leaves are cooked just enough.
- Drizzle coconut oil and serve warm along with rice.