My mother always used to cook thandu keerai or amaranthus leaves regularly at home. We can use the leaves as well as the stem of this keerai in cooking. Amaranthus leaves are a storehouse of essential phytonutrients and antioxidants which help to reduce inflammation in the body. Amaranthus leaves are low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Amaranthus is also rich in vitamin C and hence it boosts our immunity.
We can make kootu with thandu keerai and also take the stem and chop them and make sambar using them. I am sharing the sambar we make using thandu keerai.
Keerai Thandu Sambar / Amaranthus Stem Lentil Curry
- Toor Dhal - ½ cup
- Tamarind - small lemon sized
- Onion - 1 chopped finely
- Tomato - 1 chopped finely
- Keerai Thandu or Amaranthus Stem - 1 cup chopped into medium pieces
- Sambar Powder - 1 tsp.
- Turmeric Powder - ¼ tsp.
- Gingelly Oil - 1 tsp.
- Ghee - 1 tsp.
- Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp.
- Ured Dhal - 1 tsp.
- Channa Dhal - 1 tsp.
- Asafoetida - ¼ tsp.
- Curry Leaves - a handful
- Salt - 1 tsp. or as needed
- Soak tamarind in 1 cup of hot water for some time and extract juice and keep aside. By soaking in hot water you can extract the juice of tamarind fully.
- Soak toor dhal in 1 and a half cup of water for half an hour. Add gingelly oil and turmeric powder and pressure cook till you get three whistles.
- Heat ghee in a pan and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add asafoetida, ured dhal and channa dhal and roast for half a minute.
- Add the chopped onions and fry till the onions become transparent. Keep the stove in low flame.
- You can now add the chopped tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes turn mushy.
- Now add chopped amaranthus stem and add a cup of water and cook till the stems become soft.
- Add the cooked toor dhal and tamarind juice and bring to boil.
- Now add salt and sambar powder and mix well.
- Keep the flame low and cook for five more minutes or till the sambar becomes thick.
- Switch off the flame and garnish with curry leaves.
- You can serve this sambar with rice, idly or dosa.