Recipe - Yeenchoy/Chinese Spinach/Amaranth leaves
If you're tired of the usual spinach, bok choy, kale and other greens - try Amaranth also known as Yeenchoy or Chinese Spinach.
It is usually available at a Chinese grocer. You can stir-fry it the Chinese way with just a splash of oil, some garlic and chilli.
This is a widely loved green both in North and South India. It is cooked in a variety of ways: added to dhals, made into 'tikkis' patties or stir-fried with spice.
Here is a recipe from Goa where we call it Tambdi Bhaji (Tambdi means red in Konkani and Bhaji is vegetable). It makes a great accompaniment to a spicy curry or can be eaten with rotis and some dhal as a main.
- Place 280grams (2 bundles) Amaranth leaves in a large pot filled with water. Swish around then place the leaves in a colander. This will allow the grit to settle down. Do this about 3 times, or till you see the water is clear.*
- Pick off the leaves from the stalks (as kids we loved doing this).
- Chop the stalks finely and place in a separate bowl.
- Heat a casserole dish, then add 2 tbsp oil (we use coconut oil in Goa), ½ chopped onion, 1 tsp sea salt/veggie salt,
1 fat clove garlic minced and 2 green chillies slit down the centre.
- Stir-fry on medium heat till the onion is translucent.
- Now add the previously chopped stalks, ¼ cup desiccated/fresh coconut and ¼ cup water.
- Simmer, covered with a lid, for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the previously washed leaves and add ¼ cup water.
- Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Enjoy with rice or roti.
*We do this with all greens, rice and dhal. We collect this water, and then use it in our garden.