If you grew up in Kerala or travelled through there is no way you would have escaped the cheera thoran, steaming hot matta rice and an ozhichukari (gravy) of your choice. This basic amaranth leaf stirfry was our staple greens dish. With fresh amaranth leaves in plenty perfect for the humid weather there was no way we overlooked it in our meals. If not red amaranth, it will be the green one that occupied the corner of the plate. Here is that original Kerala recipe for cheera thoran.
Though a short-lived perennial, amaranth is one of the easiest greens to grow, provided the weather is your friend. In Asian countries, amaranth replaces kale in every possible way. It is popular in 3 colours the red leaves, of course, the green and a variegated pink and green one. There are numerous health benefits attributed to this variety of spinach, starting from the prevention of anaemia to cholesterol control. To put it simply, it does everything that greens do for you in your diet.
It is not just the leaves that are edible, the tender stalk, the seeds are all edible for this plant. The seeds are a highly valued superfood. We have one recipe with the seed on this blog, the rajgira kheer.
A variety of green we have featured on the blog
Greens form a huge part of our everyday diet, so they feature heavily on this blog as well. Here are some I am fond of.
Hummingbird leaf – Agatha keerai is a highly medicinal leaf. Here is an easy preparation with the same – Agathi keerai proiyal.
Spinach –store-bought baby Spinach is perfect to feed a crowd on a crazy weekday. Here is one recipe that saves you all the cleaning and chopping, dump the prepped green and get your greens in – Spinach and peas dal
Sweet potato leaves -the softest when cooked these leaves for a delightful part of the parippukootu recipe.
Brahmi or gotugola– is memory boosting herb. Turn them into a refreshing salad with grapes and see how fast they are eaten.
Methi or fenugreek leaves- are the house favourite. Here is the easiest side with fenugreek leaves and carrot – Methi gajar sabji.
Radish tops is one of the easiest wintergreens you will find so, use them to the best like a stirfry or saag as we have here
Cheera thornan – stir fry amaranthus greens
For the greens
- 1 bunch amaranth greens Washed, cleaned and chopped. The chopped volume is around 2 cups when packed.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp Channa Dal
- 1/2 tsp Urad Dal
- 2 dry red chillies broken
- 1 shallot sliced
- 1 sprig curry leaves
for finishing the recipe
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup grated coconut
- Clean , wash andchop the amaranth leaves.
- In a wok add the oil followed by mustard seeds.
- When it splutters add the channa and urad dal, red chillies, shallot and curry leaves. Stir it around till the Dal goes golden.
- Now add the chopped amaranthus red.
- Sprinkle salt.
- Toss for a minute. Cover and keep it on a low flame for two minutes till it wilts.
- Add the grated coconut.
- Stirfry for another minute and remove from heat.
- Serve warm with steamed rice.
Serving this Cheera thoran
The cheera thoran as a Kerala meal is perfect in the South Indian thali with steamed rice, coconut milk sambhar more kaachiyathu or pineapple rasam. The recipe is lovely with simple triangle parathas too.
Must try stir-fries on this blog
Since we do a couple of different styles of cuisines there are a few different stirfry recipes on this blog that may come in handy for you.
Original Kerala recipe for vazhapoo thoran
Sadhya style payar thoran
Asian style broccolini stirfry
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This post was way past update dates, so here it is with garden-fresh red amaranth leaves. The content and images are updated here, the recipe remains the same as it is a classic Kerala recipe. The post is added to Foodies redoing old post group of bloggers.
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