Amaranth greens, also known as ‘Rajgira’ leaves in Maharashtra, the western part of India, are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and potassium. The greens are low in calories and high in Iron. 100gm of amaranth leaves contain 29% DRI of Iron. The stew recipe combines the goodness of amaranth greens and unhulled split Mung beans and makes a wholesome meal. Unhulled, Split Mung Beans have pale yellow insides but still have the green skin on them; hence have more fiber than the hulled ones. I like to pair the ‘dal-fry’ with multigrain roti, and a side of french beans stir fry. In the winter season, the piping hot stew and a whole grains bread will add healthy warmth to your dinner table.
- 2 cups of tightly packed amaranth leaves.
- 1/2 cup of split Mung beans.
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped garlic.
- 2 green/red, tender green chilies.
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced.
- 1/2 mustard seeds.
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder.
- 2 tsp garam masala.
- 2 tbsp oil.
- 1 tsp ground cilantro seeds.
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder.
- Salt as per your taste.
- Clean and wash Mung dal. In a pressure cooker, add dal, 1 & 1/2 cups of water, and salt. Mix everything well, cover the lid and cook for 2 whistles until done; refer to picture #2 for how cooked Mung dal looks.
(Alternatively, you can use Instapot and skip this step and add dal and water after sautéing the leaves and let everything cook together in the pot.)
- Meanwhile, wash and chop amaranth leaves, thinly slice onions, roughly chop garlic, and chilies, as shown in picture #2.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds once the oil is hot.
- Once mustard seeds start spluttering, add turmeric, green chilies, garlic, and onion. Sauté the mixture until the onion turns golden brown.
- Next, add amaranth chopped leaves in the pan and sauté them for 4 to 5 minutes, as shown in picture #3. Add all remaining spices, garam masala, ground cilantro, and cumin in the pan and mix everything well.
(You can also eat the stir-fry as a side dish and omit the beans, as described in my other blog post.)
- Transfer the cooked dal in the pan, as shown in picture #4.
(If you’re using the Instapot, add washed dal and pressure cook everything together.)
- Sprinkle some salt, mix everything well, and let the dal simmer for 6 to 7 minutes on a medium to low flame. Keep stirring occasionally.
- Garnish the stew with fried or caramelized onion. Serve the delicious stew with a bread of your choice. It also pairs well with steamed rice. I paired the curry with beans poriyal, aka french beans stir-fry, and sautéd taro roots.
This wholesome recipe can be cooked with any lentil & pules or combination pules of your choice, such as red lentils, pigeon peas, etc. Sometimes I use the Instapot for this recipe to cook it like a one-pot meal. You don’t need to pressure cook Mung dal separately while using the Instapot. Add zucchini, carrots, and your favorite vegetables in the stew to cook a one-pot meal stew for the variation. Birista, aka fried onion recipe, is available on my Instagram account.