While it may be easy to find Amaranth laddoos and chikkis in the market or from generous relatives who make them at home, it would be far more beneficial if we learned how to incorporate the wonder food that is Amaranth in our everyday culinary repertoires. How does one use Amaranth in a standard weekday meal without labouring over it for hours? Here are a few ideas:
Overnight Breakfast Cereal
Just replace rolled oats with popped amaranth, and you have a jar of readymade breakfast waiting for you the next morning! Mix the popped Amaranth seeds with your choice of chopped fruit (apples, peaches, pears, mangoes), one or two kinds of nuts and toasted seeds (almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds), some dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, dates), a spice you like (cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla), and a sweetener, if you like it. Mix in some dairy or nut milk (remember, it will get soaked up and you will need to top it up slightly just before consumption) and screw the cap on tight. Leave the jar in the fridge overnight and grab it for an on-the-go breakfast the next morning!
Cook Amaranth in twice the amount of water and a little salt until tender. Drain out the excess water and fluff it up using a fork. Leave to cool. Then toss with chopped cucumbers, lots of coriander, mint, and parsley, cherry tomatoes, and other seasonal garden vegetables of choice. Drizzle a simple vinaigrette, and you have an unusual yet tasty and power packed salad for a week night dinner.
This couldn’t get any easier. Simply toss popped Amaranth with your choice of nut, dried fruit, even rolled and toasted oats, Ragi puffs, chocolate chips, and anything that has a respectable shelf like, and store in an airtight container for weeks. Mix with milk when required. Or add a tadka à la Chivda for a savoury dimension.
When roquette lettuce is hard to find and iceberg appears too stale, try picking up a bunch of mixed Amaranthus at your local market. This fabulous green works like a charm in all manner of salads, lending a refreshing colour and a peppery sharpness to the dish while providing a bunch of fibre and nutrients. A win-win!