Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Stir Fry Amaranth leaves -Indian Style

Amaranth leaves are leafy green from the Amaranth plant. It is widely grown and eaten in Africa, Asia and Caribbean. It is also becoming popular in USA as it contains many nutritional values. Amaranth leaves are a good source of potassium which help to move more oxygen to the brain that stimulate neural activity and cognitive function thereby reduce the risk of stroke. Besides that, it is also a boon to women and girls who have iron deficiency as it is packed in iron. Since Amaranth leaves have dietary fiber, they aid in digestion and constipation. Comparatively, this type of leafy green is better to other kinds such as Kale as you can easily make a raw salad out of it without cooking much. The texture and appearance of this leafy green is very similar to the spinach so it is a versatile green where you can opt a wide range of cooking option from raw salad, soup, fry, simmered dish like curry or even fermented or jarred version to be eaten year round, just like the Africans. Lets see how to prepare a stir fry style using Indian spices.

Stir Fry Amaranth


Amaranth leaves - a bunch, approximately 6 to 7 cups
Onion                  -1
Dry red Chilies     - 1
Mustard              - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal             - 1/2 tsp
Vegetable oil      - 1 tbsp
Sugar                - 1/4 tsp


1. Before washing the leafy green, do inspect for any insects or white spots, if there are any, discard those leaves. Choose only the fresh and organic ones. Amaranth comes with thicker stems and younger stems. we prefer to use the younger stems for stir fries. The thicker stems can be cut and added while cooking soup or broth. 

2. Now, you have to wash the leaves and stems thoroughly to remove any dirt or sand. Later, drain them off in a colander.

Thoroughly washed Amaranth leafy green

3. After that, cut them finely to ease the cooking process. 

4. Heat a pan, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil or peanut oil. When the oil is nice and hot, add 1/2 teaspoon mustard and urad dal. Allow the mustard to sputter and urad dal to change into brown color. These highlighted steps are really crucial in any Indian cooking as it gives nice aroma to the dish.

Mustard and urad dal

5. Next, chuck in finely diced red onion and dry red chilly (break into half). Once the onion has slightly become translucent, it's time to add the finely chopped Amaranth. 

Onion is being cooked until translucent

6. Don't put a lid to cook the leaves. Cook them for 5 minutes until they are done. Once they are cooked, you can add salt and 1/4 tsp of brown sugar to bring back the vibrant green purplish color of the Amaranth. Sugar really enhances the color and taste of any vegetables when added a little at the end of the cooking process. Serve this dish with piping hot white rice and curry. 

7. Do give a try and let me know if you have any doubt in preparing the dish. 

Thank you


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