Notey shak bhaja/ Stir-fried amaranth greens

Notey Shaak or Amaranth Greens are known to have many positive effects one’s body. In Bengal, there is a tradition to serve multi course meal, and the first course generally comprises of something bitter or something made of leafy greens. The tradition also has a scientific base — leafy greens are known to help our body absorb vitamins and minerals, are loaded with antioxidant  properties; and generate enzymes that help in digestion. These greens are also known for cooling effect on your body. Kolkata being a city that experiences summer almost all round the year, I am always on the lookout of recipes that are soothing, and here is one of them!

 

 

Ingredients:

  • Notey shak/amaranth greens (leaves and tender stems only)
  • Mustard seeds
  • Green chillies
  • Coconut (finely chopped) — optional
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Peanuts (roasted)
  • Oil
  • Poppy seeds (whole)
  • Dried Red Chilli (optional)

 

Preparation:

  • Wash the greens well and chop
  • Heat oil in a wok and temper with mustard seeds, dried red chillies (if you are adding it) and green chillies
  • Now add the chopped coconut (optional), salt and sugar
  • Add the greens
  • Toss well
  • Take skins off the roasted peanuts, halve them and sprinkle on the greens
  • Reduce flame, cover and cook, stirring occasionally
  • When the greens are cooked, but the excess water is not evaporated, add the whole poppy seeds
  • Cover and cook till all water is evaporated
  • Serve with steamed rice as a first course

TIP for Variation: 1. You may also temper with a handful of lentils — moong (split yellow lentils) or chana (bengal gram lentils) — soak the lentil and add along with the mustard seeds.

2. You may even add chopped or crushed garlic while tempering the oil for stronger flavours.

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