Amaranth Leaves (A Type Of Pigweed) Bhaji/Sabji
Chowlai Saag Bhaji
Late Sri Suresh Chandra Gupta
Note from Mamta: this is something my father used to cook. Having spent his childhood in the small village of Barhapur, Uttar-Pradesh, he grew up surrounded by farms and mountain rivers, where this vegetable probably grew wild. He was fond of unusual saags (leafy vegetables) that are not often seen in city shops. He always grew a selection of leaf vegetables in his garden. I too grew it from a seed packet from a nursery.
This one is red Amaranth, but green is more common in India, see last picture.
Keep the spices in this dish as low as possible and avoid adding garlic, onion, ginger etc., in order to get taste the leaves. Serves 2-3
Edited and pictures changed July 2018
2 cups fresh, red or green amaranth leaves
1 small tomato chopped or a 4-5 cherry tomatoes halved/quartered
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. chilli powder (optional)
1/2 tsp. salt, adjust to taste
Wash and drain leaves, remove any hard stalks. If the stalks are not hard, peel off the fibrous outer layer. Chop the leaves and stalks roughly.
Heat oil in a wok. Add cumin seeds.
When seeds crackle, add chopped green chillies.
Fry for a few seconds, then add stalks. Stir fry for a minute or less.
Add amaranth leaves, turmeric and salt. Stir.
Add a small chopped tomato or a few halved cherry tomatoes, as shown. Stir in.
Turn the heat down and cook covered until leaves look fried, about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Add lime/lemon juice, stir it in. Raise heat and stir-fry to get rid of excessive water, until b=vegetable looks shiny.