Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The less celebrated : Amaranth or Rajgara paratha

Amaranth or Rajgara

With my constant desire to do a unique post which is healthy and yet different, I stumbled on amaranth. Amaranth is not a true cereal grain. The plant is an annual herb.It is a multi-purpose crop. The tender leaves of the amaranth plant are relished as a green leafy vegetables.And the grain is used to make parathas, poori's, pakoras, cutlets , kadhi etc.There are approximately 60 species of amaranth and there is no definite distinction between amaranth grown for the leaf (vegetable), and the seed (grain).Amaranth seed is high in protein (15-18 percent) and lysine and methionine, two essential amino acids that are not commonly found in grains.It is high in fibre and contains calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and vitamins A and C.Amaranth also contains tocotrienols (a form of vitamin E) which have cholesterol-lowering activity in humans. Amaranth consists of 6-10% oil, mostly in the germ. The oil is predominantly unsaturated and
high in linoleic acid important in human nutrition. The amaranth leaf is equally nutritous as well. Containing higher calcium, iron and phosphorous levels.

Western science considers amaranth as a Nu-world grain from Mexico and other parts of South America. But amaranth has been an ancient grain in India. Nobody knows, how it came to India or may be it was taken to South America. But our ancestors were nourished by this wonderful grain. Rajgara meaning 'royal grain'.I came across an article which said, it is possible to sprout amaranth. So, I might try sowing amaranth seeds next spring to see if I can get amaranth plants for the leaves.

Amaranth or Rajgara parathas:

Rajgara flour or freshly ground grain - 2 cups
salt according to taste.
Ginger, grated - 1 inch piece
Sesame seeds (til) - 1 tsp
Green chillies, - 2 ,finely chopped
Potatoes - 2 , boiled and mashed
Yogurt - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 1 tbsp + for applying on parathas
Fresh coriander leaves -2 tbsp ,chopped

Amaranth or Rajgara parathas


Place ragjara flour in a bowl, I was not sure about the freshness of store bought flour, so made my own flour in a blender. The grain looks like a poppy seed. flour smelled like amaranth leaves. Mix in salt, ginger, sesame seeds and green chillies. Add mashed potatoes, yogurt, one tablespoon of ghee and coriander leaves. Knead into a semi-soft dough using water. Cover and keep the dough aside for an hour. Divide into small portions. Roll into balls. Dust with flour and pat into a round diskette on a dusted surface. Heat a tawa. Shallow fry the parathas on both sides applying ghee as required. Serve hot with yogurt. Amaranth or rajgara parathas with yogurt was our lunch today.It was a tastey and wholesome lunch :).You can also substitue yams
for potatoes in this recipe.

Be Nourished!!!


Asha said...

I have Rakgira flour, must be the same. Looks great. I make Bhakri with that flour!:))

Indira said...

That's a wonderful recipe with amaranth grains. You are very creative Swaroopa.

I have amaranth grains at home. I will be tring this recipe soon.

Seema said...

Interesting Parathas! Never heard of the flour before.. Glad to learn something new!!

Alpa said...

Paratha looks really good! Rajgara flour is used extensively in the Kathiawad community of Gujurat.

bee said...

wonderful. amaranth is one of my fav leafty greens. i have seen rajgira grains in the store, but didn't make the connection with amaranth. we used to eat rajgira laddoos in india.

Taste of Mysore said...

It's my first time to hear of amaranth grains. Haven't seen it here in Singapore or I must have missed it. Will look for it now ;)

ServesYouRight said...

Delicious recipe and great idea!



Yyour poss are really informative swaroopa!!

Latha Narasimhan said...

Oh this is looking simply delicious! Must try! :)

SAM said...

Do you know how to puff Rajgira grains at home? Please post the method if you do.

Swaroopa said...

Ranju: this is how I ur suppose to puff amaranth..for that matter any grain..if u dont have a popper : Take your amaranth and put it in a skillet, on medium heat. Now comes the tricky part...you need to stir it, but you also need to cover it, because when amaranth gets a-poppin' it likes to leap right out of the pan. SO - cover it, and about every two minutes, whip the cover off and stir like crazy and slam the lid back on.
A boring alternative to this is to put oven mits on and lift the whole shebang off the heat and shake it, like you're making popcorn.

SAM said...

Hi Swaroopa:
I tried your method last night. It did not work. Are you supposed to presoak the grains? I've popped popcorn a lot of times at home, so I followed the same method (which is what you suggested.)

Swaroopa said...

Sam, I am sorry that it did not work for u... if every thing is done as said and still dint work...one reason i feel would be is....there is no enough moisture in the grain, to pop. as u said u might want to sprinkle some water untill it soaks enough moisture and leave it for 2-3 days and then u may try it. hopefully it works... let me know how it turns out.

Rina said...

Can't wait to try these Parathas.. dear. Most of all I love your Junnu. Just looking at that pic soothes my heart and brings back the child hood sweet memories.

Kelly A. said...

Please post more wonderful traditional indian food. I would love to hear more about sprouted dal and traditional oils!

Deanna said...

Yum! I have some of that flour and was hoping to find a recipe for parathas. I've missed them greatly since going gluten free.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you ground the Amaranth Grain dry or wet in the blender? Also, did you coarse ground it or was it fine ground?
Would appreciate your feedback.

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Yes there should realize the reader to RSS my feed to RSS commentary, quite simply

Davis said...

Good Information. Thank you for sharing and I want to share information about Tandoori Chef which is An authentic North Indian, fine dining restaurant, Tandoori Chef offers Hackensack and the surrounding area a wonderful taste of Indian cuisine.

Phil said...

I have seen Rajgara ladoos. Rajgara is also used by Hindus on fasting days when they do not eat any other grain.