There is nothing more comforting, wholesome and nutritious than a bowl of rice and dal cooked with greens. Simple, honest food at its best is what I’d describe lentils cooked with greens. It was thotakura pappu and beetroot vepudu (stir-fry) with rice for lunch today.
Thotakura (amaranth, chauli, mulakeerai)
Thotakura aka amaranth leaves are available in Vizag almost all year round and regular at our home. These fantastic power packed nutritious greens are usually used in dal, vepudu and pulusu preparations.
The proteinous lentil and iron rich greens combine, thotakura pappu, is an earthy, tangy, healthy-tasting dal dish, which calls for the use of tamarind, other than onion, garlic and green chillis. This dal might lack visual appeal but let me tell you, its one of the best tasting pappu akkura (lentil-greens) of Andhra cuisine.
Add the thotakura and stir fry for 3-4 mts. Add the turmeric pwd and salt and combine. Cover with lid and cook till the greens cook (approx 7-8 mts). Using the back of the ladle, mash the contents slightly.
Add the cooked and mashed dal to the onion-thotakura mixture. Cook for another 4-5 mts on medium heat.
Add the tamarind extract and combine well. Cook for another 9-10 mts or till the rawness of tamarind disappears. It should not be a watery dal but have more of a thick consistency dal.