December to march is the best time to feast on the freshest produce available. Tis my favorite time of the year.
The fruits and vegetables have a different color and flavour in them!
Abundantly available at this time of the year is Red amaranth leaves. Amaranth leaves are similar in taste to spinach but with a stronger flavor and cook very easily. In terms of nutrition, amaranth has a higher concentrations of calcium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamins.
One of my neighbor friend, who is a Tamilian Brahmin, made this wonderful leaf with channa dal(split bengal gram lentil). I just loved it. After a couple of tries, I finally got this dried curry, right. With a blend of grated coconut and a hint of garlic, it’s a recipe to be shared and tried.
- 1 bunch amaranth leaves, washed, chopped.
- 1 small cup split bengal gram, soaked for at least 2-3 hours
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 green chili, minced
- 1 big piece of fresh coconut, grated
- 2 dried red chilies
- 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder(haldi)
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp oil
In a pan, heat oil. When its hot enough, add mustard seeds. Let it splutter. Now throw in the garlic, onions, green chilis and red chilis. Saute till pinkish. Then add the soaked channa dal, along with salt and turmeric powder. Fry till the lentils are 1/2 cooked. Now add the chopped amaranth leaves. Mix well. Cover and cook. Keep checking on it as you have not added any water, and you would not want to burn it down.
Keep stirring till all the water released from the leaves has dried. When it’s almost done, you throw in the grated coconut. Give it a good mix. Stir till all the water has evaporated. The result should be a dry, not too mashed vegetable.
Remove into a bowl, and serve hot with rice and ghee or with chappathis/rotis.
The day I made this, did not feel like eating rotis or rice. So I made plain cracked wheat porridge/dalia. A combination of porridge, yoghurt and this super healthy curry. Wow. I felt like a harbinger of good health;)