The monsoon months of aadi /aashada/ karkidakam are the ones where many traditional recipes emerge from the family treasury. The weather wet, cold and sultry, warm and easy on the stomach dishes predominate. Most of these source greens growing in the yard with the incoming rains or stored grains and coconut.
These nutritionally enhancing recipes are curated and planned to alternate between days of detox food, light and easy menu and just as this gets a bit boring the special days kick in like the Tue, or Friday when a sweet treat is made to break the monotony. Just because it is a sweet one it is not overly indulgent but one which keeps in mind the need of the time is mindful eating.
For this particular season, I do have Amaranth seed in mind.
My initiation to amaranth seeds
Amaranth seed is popular among the health conscious people as a super seed. My story is slightly divergent.
One of the easiest leafy vegetables to grow in Kerala is amaranth spinach. With my parents active on their terrace garden which they lovingly add on varieties of spinach it was important to collect seeds for the next season.towards the end of the season they let some of the plants to grow big and have the inflorescence. This sun matured inflorescence carefully collected and rubbed to release the seeds when fully dry. The yield of chaff and seeds then were separated. I loved to blow away the chaff…it was some kind of a game to see who could blow the farthest…The resultant seeds sometimes were quite a lot.
When the seeds are in excess my mom will make a seed-laden payasam. It won’t be a large quantity but yes extremely tasty. The popcorn-like feel of the seeds which had a slight crunch even after boiling was the lovely part.
Today it is my attempt to do a similar one based on my mother’s quick scribble of the recipe. I didn’t have homegrown amaranth…but the memories that the recipe brings back is amazing. We have planted a few seeds of our own too.. let us see if any of them plan to grow with this chilled out winter.
If you have such treasured recipe with Amaranth..please do share. I will love to try new ideas while my bag of amaranth seeds last.
This winter month (monsoon in south India), I plan to follow some of the beloved recipes from my home cuisine.
here are a few you will commonly see in my house.
super seed amaranth porridge
- 1/2 cup Amaranth seeds (rajgira, dhandtina akki, thenai)
- 2 cups full cream milk / plant based milks
- 2 tbsp jaggery crushed
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 tsp ghee / clarified butter use coconut oil if vegan
- 2-3 tbsp cashew nuts
- 1 tbsp raisins
- On a thick bottomed pan dry roast the amaranth seeds till they pop. Keep the heat medium as they burn easily as well.
- To this popped amaranth add the milk and simmer till the amaranth cooks.
- Stir occasionally so that it won't catch the bottom
- Once cooked the seeds turn translucent, add the jaggery and cardamom powder.
- Stir well and remove from heat.
- in a separate pan heat the ghee/ oil and add the cashews and raisins to roast. Once the raisins puffs up, add this to the kheer. This step is optional. Omit if you want to go nut free.
- Mix well and serve.
- If chilled is preferred, transfer into a serving bowl and chill for about an hour.
The amaranth seeds are really tiny, so burn fast. Keep a real good eye on it all along. The addition of saffron is optional. You can change the nuts to the ones available for you or even go nut free.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!