Surprise the family with this interesting dish made out of amaranth leaves

Amaranth in Greek means ‘everlasting’ and is believed to be the ‘food of immortality’. In India, its grains are known as ‘Rajgeera’ (King’s Grain). The leaves are called Cholai, Tamri Bhaji, Thotakoora, etc., in different Indian languages.

Amaranth leaves may be red or green in colour; some are bicoloured as well. It has a higher nutritive value compared to spinach. It is rich in calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium and vitamins. These leaves have a lot of medicinal properties. They are found to be effective in stopping diarrhoea. Application of fresh amaranth juice to the hair helps prevent greying and hair loss. It also has acne remedial properties when applied on the skin. Regular consumption of amaranth lowers blood pressure and even helps reduce cholesterol.

Amaranth has a high oxalic acid content and hence should be avoided or should beeaten in moderation by people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or kidney disorders.

Now, for a recipe.

Amaranth and Parmesan Phyllo Wraps with Strawberry Jalapeno Dip

(16 pieces)

Ingredients

Olive oil: 25 ml

Unsalted butter: 60 gm

Garlic cloves (chopped): 2 nos.

Leeks (chopped - white and light green parts): 100 gm

Amaranth leaves (washed, shredded and dried in a cloth): 200 gm

Salt (to taste)

Parmesan cheese (grated): 100 gm

Phyllo sheets (each sheet measuring 16 x 12 inch) cut into half to get 8 x 12 inch sheets: 8 nos.

Method: Preheat the oven to 175 degree C. Heat a pan; add the oil and 25 gm of butter.

Add the chopped leeks and garlic; sauté for 2 minutes. Then add the shredded amaranth leaves. Stir and cook gently over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat, let it cool, then add the grated Parmesan. Add salt if required. Place a phyllo sheet on a smooth work surface. Melt the remaining butter and lightly brush it on the phyllo sheet. Fold the sheet into half such that the buttered side is inside (You should now have a 4 x 12 inch sheet). Divide the amaranth mix into 16 parts.

Place one part of the mix onto the bottom left corner of the folded phyllo, leaving an inch space on the sides. Fold the corner over the filling into a triangle and continue folding over till the other end is reached. Press the ends to seal them. Repeat the same with the other phyllo sheets. Brush the top of the phyllo triangles with melted butter and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with the strawberry jalapeno dip

To make Strawberry Jalapeno Dip

Ingredients

Strawberries (diced small): 300 gm

Sugar: 50 gm

Jalapeno chillies (chopped): 30 gm

Water: 4 tbsp

Vinegar: 1 tbsp

Salt (a pinch)

Crushed black pepper (to taste)

Honey: 1 tbsp

Lime Juice: 1 tsp

Method: Heat a pan. Add the diced strawberry and sauté till the pieces get slightly caramelised. Add the rest of the ingredients, except lime juice and cook on gentle heat for 5-7 minutes. Add the lime juice when the pan has been removed from the fire to avoid it getting a bitter after taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and let it cool.

Executive Chef

Taj Coromandel