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.

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

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 2

 Main Ingredients:

  •  amaranth leaves


  •   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

Method for making Thotakura Pappu

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 sautรƒยฉ till onions turn slightly pink.
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.
Serve with white rice or hot rotis.


  • Sharmi

    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.


  • Aahaar Vihaar

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

  • Asha

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

  • anusharaji

    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 ๐Ÿ™‚

    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.

  • sandeepa

    Shall check too for these leaves…

  • anusharaji

    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

  • Monisha

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

  • mamata

    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

  • Mythili

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

  • swapna

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

  • Latha

    You’re right Sailu! This is ultimate comfort food ๐Ÿ™‚ Your posts always make me feel nostalgic and miss the wonderful things about India!

  • musical

    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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Roopa


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

  • richa

    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.

  • mandira

    I read about a great carrot salad, but didn’t have anything to go with it. Now I do ๐Ÿ™‚ will try finding the amaranth leaves. Thanks Sailu

  • prema

    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.

  • padmaja

    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!!

  • viji

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

  • Nisha

    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.

  • Harika

    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…

  • Padmini

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

  • rathika

    i tried it, came it really very well!! thanks a lot.. tasted almost exactly how my mom makes it ๐Ÿ™‚ 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…

  • Neelima

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

  • Neelima

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

    • aadu

      you get thotakura in chinese markets its called chinese red spinach

  • kalva

    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

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  • swetha

    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

  • Pingback: Indian food, Andhra recipes and Global cuisine inspired cooking » All Recipes Andhra Recipes Dals & Legumes Greens-Leafy Vegetables Indian Lentil Recipes Vegan recipes Vegetarian Recipes » Pappu Thotakura ~ Tuvar dal with Amaranth leaves()

  • Murali

    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,


  • Arvind

    really nice website to learn cooking instantly

  • Maduri

    too good