During this lockdown time, I am sure we all looked at our stocks of fresh produce and said is there a way I can use this too? Or ask how can I stretch this s bit more, just to make stocks last a bit longer. This is the time we gave that keerai thandu a serious look than tossing it.
Amaranthus at my parents
My parents have a large terrace garden which they have pretty much scaled-down as per what they can maintain now with their ages advancing. But for all the years, sprouting that amaranth seed and growing that batch of amaranth has never stopped. Micro amaranth greens to the mature plant, they all get cooked and added to the meal. The batches also vary depending on the seeds they have. The red leaf ones, the green thick-stemmed ones, the arakeerai, the variegated ones, they all had their own recipes in mum’s kitchen. The red and green amaranth gets used up in thoran, arakeerai in keerai molagutal and variegated one in kootu.
Mums keerai thandu recipes
Being homegrown, the stems from these greens were as valuable as the leaves. Dad is so fond of those keerai kuchis, they are a staple for him. In no way they get tossed unless really inedible. The amarnath stems get are classified into the stubborn stems or the keerai kuchis ( ends up in sambhar) and the tender one. The stubborn ones go in the gravy replacing drumsticks and the tender ones get finely chopped up.
Mum does have an amazing knack when it comes to making the ordinary keerai feel so different each day. That thinly sliced keerai thandu gets reformed as poriyal. This is her recipe that I am sharing today for the tender amaranth stems.
Why did I think of it now?
Getting a handful of fresh greens is becoming a difficulty now and the tiny backyard gardens we keep are quite insufficient to supply us with the greens. So, every bit we get is so valuable and makes me think of these keerai thandu recipes and bring it forth. Once you start a small patch of red or green amaranth you will love to use every part that you can save too. If you have cauliflower stems, broccoli stems, or any other tender stem, you can use this same recipe. Mince them fine and stirfry them.
Keerai thandu poriyal
the vegetable needed
- 1 bunch amaranthus greens (save the stems)
- 1 tsp coconut oil ( use any cooking oil you use)
- 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp Urad Dal
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1-2 dry red chillies
- 5-8 curry leaves
- 1-2 shallots ( sliced thin)
- 1 pinch turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup drinking water ( use as needed)
- 3 tbsp grated coconut
- Clean out the leaves of the amaranthus bunch ( large bunch) and remove the stalks.
- Snap the tender portion off the sturdier stalks. Save the sturdier portion and read the post above how to use it.
- String the outer fibres of the tender portion. Wash the stalks and clean them.
- Slice them thin and keep aside
- Heat a pan ( wok or kadai) and add the oil, mustard seeds, urad dal and cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle
- Add the thinly sliced shallots, curry leaves and red chilli and saute till the shallots are golden.
- Now add the stem sliced and saute.
- Sprinkle water to make it moist, add salt, turmeric and cover and steam till the stalk is tender. takes about 4-6 minutes
- Add the grated coconut, saute well.
- once the cooking liquid is all dry, it is ready to serve.
Serving the keerai thandu poriyal
The keerai thandu poriyal with thalagam kozhambu and rice is a wonderful combination. The poriyal with payaru kanji is a lighter meal to have. Pair it in the Indian thali meal or even as a roll-up with a flatbread. The coconut flavoured amaranth stem stirfry is certainly a must-try.
During the lockdown period, We had a much more serious evaluation of using limited resources in a better way. This post was written during that time with limited content. Right now, with a bot more time at hand, the recipe seems perfect to be redone. Thanks to the prompt from the Foodies redoing old post, the content is now updated.
There are many more ways you can use the stems of various vegetables. If you love to share them, we are all ears. Tag us @mildlyindian or #mildlyindian with your version of these recipes on all your social media accounts.
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See you at the next post and stay safe.