Learn how to make Laal Mathachi Bhaji- Red Amaranth leaves veg preparation in this blog post. This is a typical Konkani veg preparation, where the simplicity and the flavor of red amaranth leaves is allowed to shine on its own. We have not made use of too many spices so that the flavor of the leaves are not tampered in the dish. Laal Mathachi Bhaji is a dish that is commonly prepared in a Konkani household and typically served with Rice flour/Nachni Bhakri.
Red Amaranth has seen some resurgence in recent past as the concept of superfood has gained foothold in Indian diet. While in past some global ingredients were more popular for its super food qualities, I am delighted to see local ingredients gaining recognition now. Amaranth- both, leaves and its seeds are seeing its popularity rise again.
Here’s an interesting piece of information that I recently found about Amaranth- The name comes from the Greek amarantos, “one that does not wither,” or “the never-fading”, alluding to the brilliant bushy flowers thatain color long after harvest. Read here
Amaranth has quite a dramatic history.
It was cultivated by the mighty Aztecs about 6,000-8,000 years ago. Amaranth was not just a food staple for the Aztecs. It played a big part in their worship. They built statues of their deity using amaranth grain and honey. These statues were worshipped, broken, and distributed for eating. This practice is the primary reason amaranth did not survive as a staple.
When the Spanish arrived with Cortez, as part of their efforts to force Christianity on the pagan natives, they outlawed the grain. Amaranth fields were burned, and cultivators were punished. Lucky for us, they were unable to destroy the grain. In a few remote areas, small amounts of amaranth survived. (Read more here)
Let’s look at some of the health benefits of Amaranth-
Nutrients Powerhouse – Red Amaranth are rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants that help to reduce inflammation in body.
Low in calories- These bright red leaves are very low in calories (approx. 23 calories per 100 gms). If you look at the macros- these leaves are low in fat and have almost 0 cholesterol. Hence it can be preferred in a diet by those who are watching their weight.
High in fiber- Red Amaranth are rich in fiber- soluble and insoluble. Consuming fiber rich diet helps relieve in constipation.
Rich in Iron- These red leaves are powerhouse when it comes to minerals like Iron is concerned. It must be included in diet by those who are suffering from anemia or pregnant women.
These are just some of the important health benefits of Red Amaranth which has many more nutrients and vitamins and must be included in a diet to reap these benefits.
In this recipe, red amaranth leaves are cleaned with discarding lower stems that are harder to consume. If the stems are tender, it can be safely consumed. Wash and drain the excess water. Chop the leaves into small pieces. Chopped leaves are stir fried with few basic ingredients like- onions, green chilies, garlic, and cumin seed.
Finally, to finish off this dish, like any Konkani preparation, freshly grated coconut is added. This adds to the freshness of the preparation, and I won’t advise skipping it. However, if you don’t prefer including coconut in your diet then you could give it a miss. Relish it with hot Bhakris- Rice flour Bhakri or Naachni Bhakri both go along well with this preparation.
Follow this step by step video on How to make Laal Mathachi Bhaji- Red amaranth leaves preparation and share your feedback with us in comment section below.
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Laal Mathachi Bhaji- Red Amaranth leaves stir fry preparation
- 1 Large Bunch of Red Amaranth Lal Maat
- Onions- 100gms sliced
- 4-5 tbsp fresh coconut- grated
- 4-5 Green Chilies- chopped
- 1- tsp Cumin Seeds
- 4-5 Cloves of Garlic- chopped
- Cooking Oil
- Salt to taste
- Clean, Wash Laal Maat leaves and drain water completely. Chop into fine pieces
- Heat 2-3 tbsp Cooking Oil in a pan. We will now add Cumin seeds for Tadka. Add chopped garlic and green chilies. Stir fry for 30 seconds.
- Add sliced Onions in the pan. Stir fry for 4-5 mins- until Onions becomes translucent. Onions become softer in about 5 mins.
- Now, we will add chopped leaves. Mix well. Cover and cook. After 5 mins, mix again.
- After 10 mins, laal maat shrinks considerably. Now add salt to taste and mix again.
- After 2 mins, we will finish off the preparation with some fresh coconut.
Click here to watch recipe video