Recently I came across Sylvias recipe for Alegria Amaranth Crispy Bars created using Amaranth seeds. It was only then I remembered my recipe for Amaranth leaves which is also super healthy and a great source of Vitamin A, C and Folate. It is also known as Cholai in the Indian state of UP (kaa kah rahe ho baklol!) and Callaloo in Jamaica (Rastafarians luv dem stuff yeah mon!). However when we Fijians (Oilei! bahut julum re!) cook amaranth leaves we discard the seeds. I had no idea that you could consume the seeds and well..not drop dead! Thanks to Sylvia’s recipe I’m now cured of that phobia.
The variety I have cooked today is the green one called Amaranthus Virdis. This grows in abundance in Fiji and is a veg loved by most Fijians/Indians which is served with roti or dhal bhaat/rice. I love this veg with a passion so if you happen to have these growing wildly in your garden and it goes missing you will know who the culprit is.😉
Unfortunately due to the cooler climate here in Canberra we dont get to see these varieties in the markets much. Although you can get them in Sydney a fair bit so whenever we head that way (a few hours drive away) I buy these in bulk and freeze it. A bit of a pain to clean but worth the effort.
The variety available here at the Asian stores are the ones with the purplish leaves which are mainly used in soups and stir fries. Like most leafy greens once cooked it just looks like a big and ugly green blob. Come on now don’t judge a book by it’s cover go ahead and try it. You can also add eggplant and tomatoes to it for variance. It has an acquired taste but once you try you will wish for more.
Before I sign off..wishing my brother-in-law Bobby a speedy recovery following his surgery. Get kicking again dude!
2-3 Bunch Of Amaranth Leaves
1/2 Onion Sliced Finely
2-3 Cloves Of Garlic Crushed
1/4 Tspn Jeera (cumin seeds)
2-3 Green Or Red Chillies (optional)
1-2 Tbspn Oil
Salt To Taste
• Wash Amaranth leaves a couple of times to get rid of the dirt. Chop it coarsely only if the leaves happen to be quite big or leave it as is.
• Heat oil in a fry pan and add jeera/cumin seeds. As soon as it starts dancing the gidda in the oil you can add onions, garlic and chillies.
• Fry onion until browned then add Amaranth leaves and cook until the desired texture is achieved.
This dish is super yummy with Roti or Dhal Bhaat.