Thotakura/Dantina Soppu/Amaranth/Chinese spinach is not as easily found or available as the regular spinach, at least here in SFO bay area. That really must be the case otherwise my friendly Indian grocer here wouldn’t have handed it to me so enthusiastically when I was vege shopping at his store. I bought a big bunch of it just because it’s Thotakura, the revered one among greens.
This very tasty Moong dal with amaranth leaves was a result my of spur of the moment culinary instincts. As the leaves were getting gently sauteed in the pan, it just made sense to add sliced red onions and then some tomatoes for a slightly tangy taste. And Voila! a wonderful, delicious Moong dal was ready for dinner.
3/4 cup Moong Dal
2 cups, loosely packed amaranth leaves/dantina soppu/thotakura/Chinese spinach
1 medium size onion, sliced
1 large tomato cut into big chunks
2 green chilies
1/2 tea spoon grated ginger
1/2 tea spoon red chili powder (use less if you prefer a mild dal)
1 table spoon ghee/oil
1/4 tea spoon turmeric/haldi
1/2 tea spoon each of mustard seeds and cumin seeds
1. Wash Moong dal 2-3 times with water.
2. Add 3 cups of water and cook until almost soft. (Take care to not make it mushy)
3. In a big pan add 1 table spoon of ghee/oil and do a veghar/tadka with mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
4. Add chopped thotakura, green chilies, ginger, and onions. Cook for 8-10 minutes stirring now and then.
5. Add chopped tomatoes, 1/2 tea spoon red chili powder, 1/4 tea spoon turmeric, and 1 tea spoon salt. Mix well.
6. Cook for 5 more minutes and add cooked Moong dal.
7. Taste, adjust salt, add some more water, if required, to make a dal of medium thick consistency.
8. Bring the dal to a boil and take it off the stove.
Dinner today was Roti, Bhindi subzi, Moong dal, yoghurt, and rice. And yes, Gulab jamoon made last week to celebrate a birthday.