There is a local Telugu expression in most parts of AP that goes -‘Tokka thotakura?’ implying thotakura or amaranth is one of the most miniscule things just like any vegetable peel, thanks to its abundant availability. However, with the fuel price hikes that are shaking the country, inflation and price rises seem to be the trending topics of the day. This just means not just the thotakura (amaranth leaves) but also their kaadalu (stems) should be used for cooking. And why not? The stems are a great nutritious option too.
Preparation time: 20-30 mins
Stems of 2 bunches of Amaranth leaves
Bengal gram (Senagabedalu) 2 tbsp
Green chilli 1
Coriander 2 strands
Ginger 1 tsp
Grated fresh coconut 1 tsp
Buttermilk 1 ladle
Refined cooking oil 2 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds 1/4th tsp
Red chilli 1
Curry leaves 4-5
Pinch of asafoetida (hing/inguva)
Salt to taste
Soak the Bengal gram for 15 mins.
Pluck the Amaranth leaves and set the stems aside. The leaves can be cooked into a yummy curry or dal that can compliment this kadhi.
For the stems, cut them into half a finger long pieces removing the fibrous strands all along. The Amaranth stem is very soft and easy to cut, but ensure not to mash it.
Add around a cup of water to the strands, a pinch of salt, cover and leave to boil for around 20 mins on simmer or until they are cooked.
Blend to a fine paste the Bengal gram, green chilli, coriander, ginger, a pinch each of asafoetida and salt and grated fresh coconut.
Add this Bengal gram paste to the boiled Amaranth stems and stir to a boil.
Add buttermilk and stir. Leave for a couple of minutes to cook and remove from heat. If using thick yoghurt then beat the yoghurt with water to its thinnest consistency and add without any lumps.
Heat oil in a kadai/pan and add mustard seeds and as they pop, red chilli, curry leaves and fenugreek seeds. Season the majjiga pulusu with this seasoning.
Kaadala majjiga pulusu or Amaranth stem kadhi is a rice supplement ideally had with any leafy dal and rice. It does make a great combo with some phulkas too.
A must for a summer afternoon lunch, will provide respite from the sweltering heat along with a few nutrients.