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Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish – Food, a language we all speak

2 March 2015 2 Comments

health amaranth rotis with onion tomato relish

Food is an invaluable asset to connect with people across the globe and is also a perfect medium to get access to the cultural habits and cooking traditions of any region.

Are you free for an hour or so in the day to meet, do let me know”, the mail from chef Saransh read.

What do you do when you get a mail from a celebrity chef asking you to take time out for a food walk in your city.

You count your blessings and leave every important work aside to make it happen 🙂

A few more mails exchanged and  we zeroed in on a few local eateries around Mylapore and T. nagar in the city to visit for the day.

The idea of walking through Mylapore streets was finally dropped out as we had only a few hours at our disposal. There was one another meet scheduled at Westin hotel organized by CFG on facebook in the evening which we both were attending.

We had very little time at hand and the only option left was to take him to a place where he can taste some local delicacies of the city at one stop. And I suggested ‘The Rassa’ restaurant in T. nagar. 

I had already been there with a food blogger friend ‘Ishay‘ who visited Chennai from South Africa sometime back and was quite comfortable with the place.

The day started quite early, it was one of those hectic days when I had to pre-plan the entire day for my children at home. I prepared breakfast and lunch for my children and also baked some Brownies and French fries for a few friends of my daughter coming home for a group project.

I reached early and briefed the restaurant-in-charge and the head chef about Saransh and our purpose of the meet.

The staff extended their full support in letting us select and sample some of the authentic dishes of South Indian cuisine.

Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish

Picture credit: Chef Saransh

Saransh was completely bowled by the crispy banana flower fritters (varaipoo vada), unrefined black palm jaggery pudding (Karrupatti halwa), spicy pepper rice, creamy Mor kali (buttermilk-rice savory pudding) and some other dishes that we sampled.

Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish

I have been watching some of his shows on television and true to his TV image he is so talented yet a very simple and down-to-earth chef.

I thoroughly enjoyed every moment spent with the chef, sharing a few slices of life & work while tasting and talking about some of the local delicacies at the restaurant.

No wonder that people connected through food speak the same language and food is a language that can engage everyone and help build strong friendly bonds.

A quick selfie and we parted our ways only to meet again at Westin for CFG meet in the evening.

1. Amaranth flat-breads with millet

Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish

I had already prepared and refrigerated the Amaranth roti dough and onion-tomato relish a night before the meet. And it was a breeze to roll out the rotis for everyone the next day for a quick breakfast.

I grew up eating this broad red-leafy plant but did not know that it is called Amaranth then. Thanks to my online journey, now I know more about this leafy vegetable.

The leaves come in both green and purple or red variety and is called Arai keerai and Mulai keera in Tamil and chauri or chawli in Hindi.

With myriads of health benefits to boost this leafy vegetable is a nature’s gift to mankind.

I remember the frowns on our faces whenever mom served any rustic food in the name of super food. The irony is that I now often end up making these dishes at home.

A quick multi-grain Khichdi, lentil curries and millet rotis top the list of my go-to recipes.   The joys of recreating these dishes bring back the warmth and good memories of childhood days.

Fresh red Amaranth leaves or laal chawli gives a lovely dark purple hue to the rotis.

Ingredients:

(serve 3)

  • 1 cup pearl millet flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups chopped Amaranth leaves
  • 4 tbsp yogurt or curd
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 green chilly
  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

Spices:

  • 1 tbsp Kasuri Methi
  • 1 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder

Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish

Method; Wash and pat dry the Amaranth greens with a kitchen towel and chop them finely.

Peel and finely chop the onion and green chilly.

Combine both the flours, chopped Amaranth greens, onion, yogurt, kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves), chilly powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, chopped green chilies, dry mango powder (amchoor), salt in a large bowl.

The water released from Amaranth leaves should be enough to bind the dough. Use very little water if required to bind the dough.

Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish

Keep the dough slightly hard as the water released from amaranth will make it soft after sometime.

Take a little dry wheat flour in a plate for dusting the rotis while rolling.

Pinch a small ball of dough, dust it in the plate of wheat flour and make a round balls again.

Roll the ball of dough into thin circle.

Heat a griddle and place the roti over it. Check for a few bubbles on the top and flip to the other side.

Drizzle ½ tsp. of oil around the roti and cook for a minute. Flip again and drizzle a few drops of oil and cook the other side too.

Repeat the same process to make all the Amaranth flat breads or rotis.

Serve these healthy Amaranth rotis with onion-tomato relish for breakfast or any meal for the day.

2. Onion tomato relish

Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish

Ingredients:

(serve 3)

  • 2 onions
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 Dates
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste

Spices:

  • 3 tsp. chilly powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/4 th spoon onion seeds
  • 1/4 th spoon fennel seeds

Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish

Method: Peel and finely chop onions.

Finely chop the tomato and Dates.

Heat oil in a skillet and add onion seeds, mustard seeds and fennel seeds in it and sauté fro a few seconds.

chopped onion and sauté for 5-6 minutes on high heat.

Add chopped tomatoes, dates, red chilly powder, salt, sugar and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes.

Add about 1/4 th cup of water, cover the lid and let it cook for 5-6 minutes.

Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish

Season the relish with cumin powder and serve with the Amaranth rotis.

Search for the English & Hindi names of various foods and ingredients used in the recipe in the Glossary here.

Notes:

  1. Increase the amount of oil used in the relish to preserve it for more days.
  2. The relish is slightly spicy, reduce the amount of red chilly powder if you want it less spicy.
  3. Kasuri Methi added to the amaranth rotis gives it a lovely flavor to the rotis.
  4. Use any green to make these flat-breads. Spinach, fresh fenugreek leaves, coriander, mint make wonderful rotis.
  5. You can grind the relish after it is cooked completely to get a smooth and chutney like consistency.

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2 Comments »

  • The Steaming Pot said:

    Great combination of flavors, especially the relish on the side. I am big on amaranth these days and this recipe will suit me just right.

    Similar experience as you in discovering amaranth: I knew of ‘chaulai’, a humble saag from my childhood – and recently found that amaranth leaves are the same 🙂

  • kiran said:

    Hi sanjeeta, it was my sis Shilpa who introduced me to your site, we both love all your healthy n tasty recipes.

    In Goa we call Amaranth as tambadi bhaji meaning red vegetable. I have always cook it
    The traditional way Today I will try making it your way. Thanks.

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