Friday, May 8, 2009

WHB#182 - Stir-fry Amaranth w/eggplant

For this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging(WHB#182), I want to feature a green plant, AMARANTHUS TRICOLOR or Red Leaf Vegetable Amaranth, commonly known as Chinese Spinach, Red Calaloo(caribbean), Joseph's Coat, Hon-toi-moi(chinese), tampala etc. It comes under Amaranthaceae (pigweed) family. In India, Amaranth is known as "rajeera" (the king's grain).
Amaranth has been recognised as a miracle grain, a supergrain as it has the essential elements which are missing from wheat, oats and rice. But here I'm featuring the leaves of Amaranth, which is equally nutritious .
Another variety of Amaranth :
source :
This plant is showy enough for blower beds with its colorful appearance. The medium green oval leaves are overlaid with burgundy red stars that make this plant look a bit like coleus.
Varieties :
Of the 60 or so species of this plant, not all varieties of amaranth are cultivated to be eaten. Certain varieties appear as weeds, while others are used for ornamental purposes and have vibrant red, purple, orange, pink, green or white leaves.
Nutritional Notes :
Amaranth (plant and seeds) has very nutritious properties, especially in its high content of protein, calcium, folic acid and Vitamin C. Popped amaranth seeds provide a good source of protein, which can satisfy a large portion of the recommended protein requirements for children and can also provide approximately 70% of necessary calories. Amaranth also has
abundant lysine, an essential amino acid that is low in other grains. It contains double the lysine of wheat, triple that of corn and equal to the amount found in milk. The leaves can be used as vegetables. These leaves form part of the edible greens and vegetables group and contain a vitamin called folic acid, which is an essential vitamin for the whole family and most importantly for women in their reproductive years. Amaranth leaves contain more iron than spinach. In addition, it protects against ovarian cancer, as well as depression and heart disease. Overall, Amaranth greens are rich in mineral (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese) and vitamins (vitamin A, vitaminB6, vitamin C, riboflavin and foliate). It is low in saturated fat and has no cholesterol and sugar.
Please read this article to know more about Amaranth.

The Amaranth Edible Red Leaf, 'Amaranthus tricolor', is a heat loving summer green that is even more nutritious than spinach or beet greens. The flavorful foliage has a hearty spinach flavor that is sweet and slightly tangy. Amaranth can be steamed, stir fried, or sauteed.
Now this is a very simple and quick to make recipe, we cook in Bengal (Kolkata), a state east of India for most of the green leaves without lots of spices and ingredients. It is served as a side dish with hot rice. In Bengal, our meal must start with a green leafy vegetable or with something bitter(bittergourd curry-Shukto), then followed with some lentil, fish or meat dish.

Stir-fry Amaranth with Eggplant

Ingredients :
A bunch of Amaranth leaves
Eggplant : 1 (small)
Dry red chilli : 1
Black cumin seeds : 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder : 2 tsp.
Green/red chilli : 1
Oil : 2 tblsp.(tablespoon)
Salt to taste

Method :

  • Trim the whole bunch of amaranth leaves 2 inches from the root. Wash the bunch 2-3 times in a big bowl, as leaves often contain loads of mud and dust particles.
  • Take the whole bunch together or half at a time and chop in 1/2 " pieces. Cut eggplants in small cube like pieces.
  • Heat oil in a pan, temper with dry red chilli and black cumin seeds, wait for 2 minutes, When red chilli turns dark and you smell the pungent smell of black cumin seeds, throw chopped amaranth leaves and eggplant.
  • At this point, it will leave some amount of water. Wait till water evaporates, them add turmeric, green chilli and salt. Stir for a 2-3 minutes. Add 1/3 cup of water and cover the pan, lower the heat to medium.
  • When water dries up, check the seasoning. If needed, add and stir for a minute. You are done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Enjoy with hot plain rice...............

Did You Know?

  • In ancient Greece, amaranth was considered a sacred plant that was thought to have special healing powers. The plant, a symbol of immortality, was used to decorate images of gods and tombs.
  • The flowers of the Hopi Red Dye amaranth plant were once used by Hopi Indians as the source of a deep red dye. This dye has since been replaced with the dye known as Red No. 2 in North America.
Information Source : from here and here
This edition of Weekend Herb Blogging which is hosted by
Chris of Mele Cotte, WHB is original brainchild
of Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen


Sharmila said...

Green ta ke ki note shaag bole Indrani?
Laal ta ekhane pawa jaye .. otar seeds o khaye naki .. jantam na! Ektu lal shaag ache ... ebar recipe tao decided hoye gelo .. begun diye. :-)

Indrani said...

ha, sharmila, green ta ke note shag bale..lal shak-e begun diyo na, rest same recipe

Suparna said...

Hi Indrani,
Love greens, we too have it almost 4 times a week. Love this kind of simple stir fry. looks great.

Kalyn said...

Very interesting! This is a plant I've never tasted or cooked with at all.

Kitchen Flavours said...

Informative info.....fry looks yummy....

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

wow great info and the dish looks very yummy and lovely too...

Indrani said...

Thanks, Kalyn...You should give it a try..I'm sure you'll like it

Indrani said...

@Suparna, thanks...I just love this green
Kitchen Flavours & Ramya,
Thanks a lot.........

Jaya said...

thanks for stoping by at my place..
notey saag shob rokom bhabhe khete khob bhalo lage ..begun diye O bhalo lagbe :))..
eyikhane note 'er O onek variety paba jaye..choto patar Notey , ekto patla patar notey etc..differentiate kora jaye ...tobe vegetable seller ra Notey Bole Hi sell kore..
tumi jeyi link ta dile Or jonne thanks Go otherwise it would have gone unnoticed....
hugs and smiles

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