Thotakura Pappu – Amaranth Leaves-Tur Dal

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.

Amaranth leaves, Thotakura, Chauli, Mulakeerai
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.

Thotakura Pappu - Amaranth Leaves Tur Dal
Thotakoora pappu, beetroot fry (vepudu) with rice

Thotakura Pappu Recipe

Prep & Cooking: 40 mts

Serves 4-5 persons

Cuisine: Andhra



3/4 cup tur dal (kandi pappu) pressure cook until soft and mash (shouldn’t be watery)

2 cups tightly packed thotakura leaves (not the stalks)

1 big onion finely chopped

4-5 green chillis slit length wise

1/4 tsp turmeric pwd

lemon sized tamarind (soak in a cup of warm water and extract)

For tempering/poppu/tadka:

1 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp split black gram dal

1/2 tsp channa dal

4-5 dried red chillis (tear into pieces)

5-6 garlic flakes crushed

10-12 curry leaves

1 Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel, add mustard seeds, let them pop, add the cumin seeds, split gram dal and channa dal and let them brown. Next add the garlic, red chillis, curry leaves, chopped onions and green chillis and sauté till onions turn slightly pink.
2 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.
3 Add the cooked and mashed dal to the onion-thotakura mixture. Cook for another 4-5 mts on medium heat.
4 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.
5 Serve with white rice or hot rotis.


Alternately, you can separately pressure cook the onions, greens, garlic and green chillis and combine with the mashed dal and follow the rest of the procedure.

Read more about Amaranth

Thotakura Pappu – Amaranth Leaves-Tur Dal

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Serves:

Main Ingredients:

  1. amaranth leaves



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...


I'm a food blogger, food photographer and organic gardener based out of India. I enjoy cooking for my family using fresh produce from my vegetable garden and farmer's market. I love to try out various cuisines and perfect my cooking skills. I believe that hard work, self-discipline, and a positive attitude cannot help but reap a harvest of fantastic results. Say hello and join me on Pinterest, Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

31 Responses

  1. Sharmi says:

    Hey Sailu, I love thotakura pappu a lot. its really a comforting food and nothing like it. that beautiful pic make me hungry.
    I make it similarly but also add tomatoes.


  2. Hi Sailu, Pappu with any greens tastes heavenly. Your’s looks so tempting. Your presentation of the food is always good.

  3. Asha says:

    Mmm..!! Comfort food.Lucky you get Amaranth leaves.I love the beet stir-fry there.

  4. anusharaji says:

    sailaja garu

    i bought amarnath leaves but they are really small in size.
    what do u think?
    hey btw i did post beetroot fry today
    give it a quick glance and tell me if u like it :)

    So what if they are small in size, Anushu. Its the taste that matters!! Just checked your beetroot fry and I make a similar simple stir fry that calls for cumin seeds and lots of curry leaves and no dals in tadka.

  5. sandeepa says:

    Shall check too for these leaves…

  6. anusharaji says:

    i thought mine was second comment.
    man that good amt of people at at time
    well i thought of doing thotakura kammani kura
    but seems i have to do the dal

  7. Monisha says:

    I agree with you Sailaja, there is nothing quite so delicious as a simple dal, yours looks healthy and appetizing with amaranth in it.

  8. mamata says:

    The best comfort food for a lot of us from andhra is pappu annam.Thank u for this recipe. I am waiting for your corn garelu recipe from your ugadi thali.Hope u get a chance to post it for us
    I check your website everyday and enjoy your recipes

  9. Mythili says:

    Thotakoora!!! Abba too much! mastundi pappu. Bhery Bhery good pappu…

  10. swapna says:

    Hi sailu
    missing thotakoora by staying too i can’t found them.
    Peserapappu payasam looks fabulous.

  11. Latha says:

    You’re right Sailu! This is ultimate comfort food :-) Your posts always make me feel nostalgic and miss the wonderful things about India!

  12. musical says:

    Hi Sailaja,

    Feels so good to see Amaranth leaves…..that daal must be so delicious. In Punjab we use chaulai for making saag and also with chana daal… US its available frozen only in certain stores! and none of the stores nearby have it.

    Thanks for this delectable blend :)

  13. Roopa says:


    The spinach dhall looks very good! i love it too!

  14. richa says:

    hi sailu,

    I’m very interested in trying ur carrot kothmira pachadi. Just a quick Q, is it ok to use baby carrots? I plan on chopping them fine and using it. please let me know if will turn out ok.
    thanks for the visual treat!

    Richa, baby carrots should be fine. I haven’t tried with baby carrots though.

  15. mandira says:

    I read about a great carrot salad, but didn’t have anything to go with it. Now I do :) will try finding the amaranth leaves. Thanks Sailu

  16. prema says:

    We dont get amaranth leaves here… In India my mom used to make keerai masiyal with these leaves and I used to love it. ur recipe and presention looks good sailu.

  17. padmaja says:

    hi sailu, i remember my childhood days when i used to cry when my mom used to make this. Now i miss this dal so much as we don’t get these leaves here.
    Looking at your pictures, i feel like having this now!!

  18. viji says:

    Nice presentation Sailu, As you said such a comfort food and nothing can beat this. Viji

  19. Nisha says:

    I love your site.I am also from Vizag, but currently live in a Suburb of Chicago. Your site brings back so many memories,especially your photos of mango trees etc.
    Keep it up.

  20. Harika says:

    Hi Sailaja garu,

    I am regularly visiting ur site n the recipes really look so good. I have my own PC at home, connected with Broadband, so I do visit regularly for ur delicious vantakaalu…

    Hoping for some more delicious items from u…

  21. Padmini says:

    I love the veg recipes you post. They come out very well. Thanks.

  22. rathika says:

    i tried it, came it really very well!! thanks a lot.. tasted almost exactly how my mom makes it :) i dont get curry leaves here often, tht was missing but still the taste was good, thanks again!! love ur website!! its being a good reference for me to cook.. am an indian student studying in us, so had to call mom for each n every recipe, now ur website provides an added comfort…

  23. Neelima says:

    Do we get this Tothakura in US and what it is called here?

  24. Neelima says:

    Where do we get this thotakura in US. I live in Chicago land. What do they call it here?

  25. kalva says:

    I do this pappu in another way. I use presuure cooker to do this and its a pne pot dish. I just started my own blog. Check out my recipe at

  26. swetha says:

    Hi sailu,

    I love ur blog and ur pictures.. tried a couple of chicken recepies and they turned out real good.. I have a request.. Can u please post BEETROOT FRY.. I searched ur blog but culdn’t find.. Thanks

  27. Murali says:

    Hi Sailu,

    Never cooked the whole of my life. Now since my wife is LAZY and I had to learn cooking for my six year old son.

    You made my job very easy. I tried Chicken Curry (Twice) and Egg curry. Now I will try thotakoora pappu.

    Thanks Sailu,


  28. Arvind says:

    really nice website to learn cooking instantly

  29. Maduri says:

    too good

  1. May 5, 2009

    […] have already blogged three recipes using chauli aka amaranth greens, Thotakura Pappu (dal), Thotakura Pesarapappu (with yellow moong dal and more of a stir fry dish) and Thotakura […]

  2. December 10, 2009

    […] prepared Pappu Thotakura. I had earlier blogged a version of Thotakura pappu which calls for the use of tamarind. Today its a more simpler, unassuming version sans tamarind. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>