Thotakota Fry/ Amaranth Leaves Fry

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I have enjoyed amaranth since I started eating them in 2011 when my Mother-In-Law brought them back from a trip to her home village in Seesilee, Andhra Pradesh, India. They were fresh and organically grown at her parent’s farm in the middle of the “rice bowl”. So, I usually post photos of my recipes made but I am currently missing my camera’s memory card. The above photo is from Google Images and it is of amaranth leaves. I encourage all who eat this to use a bit more oil than normally would use in leaves to impart the flavor when cooked. You can use amaranth leaves in salads raw as well. This recipe is my Mother-In-Laws and she is a Telugu lady who really enjoys hot food (karaam), but adjusted this recipe for me. I hope you enjoy and make amaranth leaves apart of your weekly diet!

Amaranth is also enjoyed by the Greeks and they have several recipes. I have not tried any, but someday when I get to make some homemade goat cheese and make a Greek amaranth fry, I will certainly post it!

4-5 bushels of amaranth leaves trimmed and chopped

1/2 onion chopped

1 sliced and chopped green chili pepper

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 diced tomato

3 Tbs of oil- I prefer Olive Oil or Sesame Oil

4 Curry Leaves

2 garlic cloves pressed and pealed

1/2 Tsp of salt- to taste

In a wok heat oil and add garlic for 25 seconds then onion and green chili pepper and fry for 1 min. Add turmeric, curry leaf and tomato and cook for 3-4 min. Add the amaranth leaves and stir ingredients together slowly, add salt. Cook until the greens are wilted yet a bright green color, about 5-6 minutes. Turn off stove, let sit for 1/2 hour and serve with Chapathi or Pulka.

The good: This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Niacin, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper and Manganese.

Variations of this recipe I have found:

http://homemadetelugurecipes.blogspot.in/2011/02/thotakura-amaranth-leaves-fry.html

http://www.sailusfood.com/2010/01/20/thotakura-vepudu-amaranth-leaves-stir-fry-3/

 

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Awesomely Easy Grape Juice

ImageIt’s that time of year in India where we have tons of grapes available. When I first came here I had no idea of  the variety of crops that Indians grew and to my surprise grapes were in large abundance here! I have every kind of grape I want and my favorite grapes in India, so far, are called Bagalore Blue Grapes. To celebrate my fondness of these grapes I began making grape juice for my daughter instead of buying it. You may or may not need sugar depending on your taste and the sweetness of the grapes when you cook them. Be careful if you use seeded grapes as I do because if you crush the seeds it will make your juice bitter. I choose seeded grapes as they have better mineral and vitamin content than hybrid ones. One interesting fact about grapes is the hazy white coating you see on them is not a pesticide or herbicide but the grape’s own defense against bacterias, bugs and molds. Make sure you wash your grapes well, I always wash my fruits and vegetables with 1/4 cup vinegar to 1 liter of water, then rinse.

The Recipe: Serves approx. 8 glasses of grape juice

2 Kgs of Seed Bangalore Blue Grapes or Concord Grapes—any blue/black/purple grape with seeds. (approx 4 1/2lbs)

2 Cups of Water

2 Large pots

1 Fine Sieve/Cheesecloth

Instructions:

After removing and cleaning all the grapes from the stems place into a plastic Ziploc or plastic cover and take a rolling pin and gently mash the grapes without crushing seeds. Put the crushed grapes into a large pot and simmer on med for 10-15 minutes slowly adding water and stirring and mushing grapes occasionally not letting the grapes stick to bottom of pan or crushing seeds. Once cooked, take sieve or cheesecloth and put over another large pot and ladle the grape mixture into the sieve/cheesecloth and gently crush the mixture and extract the juices- Please remember that cheesecloth will soak up some of your juice so I prefer to use a fine sieve. Cover and let sit for 1-2 hours. Discard or use the grape pomace in anyway you choose and refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze in portions up to 5 months. It can be watered down because it is very concentrated or you can add to carbonated water etc. Only add sugar if you think it needs it. There will be some sediment at the bottom, but I usually stir it up as it adds more nutrition to your drink! Enjoy!