This more of a public service announcement, than a recipe. If you encounter this lovely leafy green with streaks of purplish pink under its leaves, it is Amaranth. Yes, in addition to providing a healthful, gluten-free, grain-like seed which can be used to make fabulous pancakes and a super nourishing version of sushi, the Amaranth plant also produces greens that are both beautiful and delicious. You can find Amaranth greens at Indian markets and they sometimes make an appearance at local green markets in the spring time.
Heat some oil or butter in a heavy bottomed pan with a lid. Add a crushed garlic clove and/ or a few slices of ginger and let them sizzle for a minute. Add some washed and trimmed amaranth greens with a bit of salt. Cover and cook for another minute or two, or until the greens are wilted. If you have gone the ginger route you might add a splash of sesame oil at the end. I like to eat amaranth greens with scrambled eggs for breakfast. If they were as readily available as swiss chard I might eat amaranth greens every day. If I had a garden I would grow amaranth greens. This concludes my public service announcement.
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Yum indeed. Amaranth is really easy to grow if you have warm to hot summers. I first ate amaranth greens in East Africa, where they cook them as above but with the addition of tomato. In Jamaica and Trinidad it’s very popular, too. It’s called callalloo or bhaji.
I did not know that callalloo was a kind of Amaranth! I live in a Caribbean neighborhood and they sell callalloo in my local market. Yay!
When I worked at the horticultural day program we had a vegtable plot at the community garden. There was a young lady gardening there who grew amaranth for the seed. Her plants were tall and healthy and beautiful. The garden community there didn’t understand amaranth at all. They said she was letting weed go to seed. All season she was trying to make them understand that those seed were her food.
I always wondered what those unmarked green and purples at the markets were and just in time for my garden planning too! Yum…
Jamaicans and Guyanese call amaranth callalloo. Trinidadians call it bhaji. I think in Trinidad, what they call callalloo is a kind of taro potato leaf. Gets a bit confusing!
Hannah, I don’t know where you are, but it is so easy to grow. Germination can take a while, but after that it’s very fast!
I love your post! I eat them with eggs for breakfast too!! In India, our Amaranth variety doesn’t always have the purple, but I will say that it is mighty tasty here. I am American so I don’t always have to eat it as a curry and suggest wilting them in a pan exactly as you state and put it between two pieces of bread with egg, tomato and anything else that suits you! Delicious!
I find the ways that vegetables vary from region to region so interesting. When I went to India I was so amazed by the red carrots! Thanks for dropping by!