Aug 5, 2012

Thotakoora Pachadi

Or Amaranth Greens Chutney.

Amaranth Greens Chutney

What do you do when you have a lot of greens and you’d hate to not waste them? Well, South Indian housewives have been innovative in using seasonal greens in effective, healthy methods of cooking, one of which is Pachadi, which is what we call Chutney in Telugu.

Chutneys can be eaten with hot rice, rotis or can even be used as spreads on bread. They are a way of incorporating a concentrated form of the vegetable or greens into the meal.

I generally do not stock greens, I get a limited quantity from the vendor thrice a week and make Dal which we consume almost immediately. But with my watchman exploring his gardening abilities, we’ve had an abundance of greens off late. So when he brought me another big bunch of fresh Amaranth leaves this morning, I picked up the phone and called Mom begging her to tell me how to use them all . And that is where this recipe is from… straight from my Mom’s Kitchen to this blog.

Thotakoora Pachadi

I’ve used mustard oil for this recipe because I love the flavour it gives to the dish. If you do not like this one, you can choose any  other cooking oil. Also, the original recipe my Mom gave me has coconut in it, like all Mangalorean dishes. You can add some coconut pieces while mixing all the ingredients in the mixer-grinder. This will add volume and a distinct taste to the dish, and can be savoured with coconut oil and white rice. I , however omitted coconut and opted for raw onions as garnish.

Thotakoora Pachadi with tempering

Thotakoora Pachadi

Serves 4
Preparation time – 20 min
Level – Easy

Thotakoora [Amaranth] leaves – 3 C, tightly packed, washed and chopped in big pieces
Tamarind pulp – 1 Tbsp or one coin sized Tamarind ball soaked in water for 15 mins
Urad Dal – 2 Tsp
Methi seeds – 1/2 Tsp
Asafoetida [Hing] – 1/2 Tsp
Curry leaves – a bunch
Red Chillies – 2 [I use the Byadagi variety]
Mustard oil – 1 + 1 Tsp

For the tempering
Mustard oil – 1 Tsp
Urad Dal – 1/2 Tsp
Chana Dal – 1/2 Tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/4 Tsp
Cumin seeds – 1/4 Tsp
Curry leaves – a couple

For garnish
Red onions – 1, medium sized, diced

In a pan, heat the oil and add the Urad dal and the Methi seeds to roast them. After 2-3 min , add the chillies and curry leaves and roast further. Add asafoetida to this and keep aside to cool in another bowl.

In the same pan, heat the oil and add the amaranth leaves to this. Close the lid of the pan and let the leaves be steamed in the oil for approximately 10 min. Open the lid and add the soaked tamarind pieces/pulp to this and mix them all. Close the lid and steam the leaves and pulp together for another 10 min till the they are all cooked. Turn off the heat and let this cool.

Once the leaves mixture is cooled, grind this along with the tempering in a mixer-grinder , adding little quantities of water as required , till a coarse chutney is formed.

Prepare the tempering by heating the oil followed by mustard seeds. Once they splutter add the ural and chana dals followed by the cumin seeds and curry leaves. Pour this over the chutney and mix well.

Garnish with raw onions and serve with ghee and hot rice.


  1. Nice recipe. Only concern is if I can find Amaranth leaves here in the US. Good post.

    1. You can try this with any other greens - Spinach , Gongura or Chukkakoora also.

  2. Do you know by what other names is Amaranth known - I stay in Delhi and have not been able to find it.

    1. Hey, I was looking around on the internet to know the Hindi name of Amaranth, and I found this link... check this.


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