Amaranth, the royal grain, is known as Raamdana/ Ramdana, Rajgira in India. Actually it is not a grain but seeds of the Amaranth plant. These tiny seeds pop up when roasted to become light and fluffy and provide more protein content than the much touted quinoa. A whooping 9 gm of complete protein in one cup. Amaranth contains all the essential amino acids which makes it much better than any seed/grain.
This tiny yet power packed seed is a store house of many essential nutrients. It has a significant amount of calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and Vitamin C. Another good thing is that it is gluten free so people who are celiac or gluten intolerant can easly incorporate it in their meals.
I have very fond memories of munching on raamdana ladoos as a child. Light and mildly sweetened with jaggery they are the best snacks to have at all ages as they are easy to digest too. We even used these popped seeds in porridge, both sweet and savory. Raamdana is very versatile and you just need to be innovative to include it daily in your diet one way or the other. You can use them in cutlets, frappes, ladoos, soups, muffins, breads, cakes, quiche, energy bars or use it as a breakfast cereal or baby food or sprinkle over salads etc. .
Here I made some quick sweets and a frappe using Organic popped amaranth seeds from I Say Organics.
Dates, Mix Dry Fruit and Popped Amarath Ladoos
This is a fantastic easy and quick recipes which can be made with or without cooking if you already have the amaranth seeds popped.
You can make bite size balls to eat as snacks. The size depends on your wish. I make them small so I can eat it often. There is no oil/ghee or added sugar so that makes these a wonderful snack.
To make these nutritious ladoos you will need :
Dates – 1 cup pitted (good quality)
Popped Amaranth / Rajgira Seeds – 1 Cup
Chopped or Powdered Mix dry fruits ( Almonds, raisins, cashews. walnuts etc. ) – 1/2 cup
Any seeds ( flax seeds sesame seeds) if you desire – 2 tablespoon
( If you have the wet dates then no cooking is required but if the dates are dry then they need to be heated a bit. )
Pit and chop the dates fine.
Dry roast the nuts and chop or powder them as per your taste. If using seeds then dry roast them too but take care not to over roast. Just light roasting is fine.
If you are using dry dates then heat a non stick pan and add chopped dates to it.
Keep the flame low and stir till the dates soften.
Add the nut mixture, seed mixture and popped ramdana, give it a nice sir and switch off the gas.
Remove the mixture in a plate and mix it thoroughly so that everything gets incorporated nicely.
Make small balls of the mixture and let them cool before putting them in an airtight container. Eat these nutritious power packed ladoos any time of the day. I am sure kids wuld love them too. Do give it a try.
If yo uare using the soft, wet dates then just chop them and put the dates and powder/chopped dry fruit mixture in a blender and mix till a gooey mix is obtained. Take it out in a bowl and make small bite size balls from it.
Ramdana/ Popped Amaranth Brittle/ Chikki
Our next recipe is for the brittle made of raamdana. I have used Organic jaggery and popped amaranth seeds from I Say Organics in this recipe to get the maximum benefits from the ingredients.
Popped Amaranth Seeds / Rajgira / Ramdana – 1/2 Cup
Organic Jaggery – 1/2 Cup ( you can use Palm Jaggery too. Crumble it or cut into slivers with a sharp knife.)
Ghee/ coconut oil – 1 tbsp ( coconut oil for vegans)
Pinch of salt
Grease a baking tray/ plate with oil and set it aside.
Put a heavy bottom pan on medium heat and add the oil or ghee to it.
Add the grated or crumbled Jaggery with a pinch of salt. I don’t use shakkar or granulated jaggery.
Stir it constantly till the jaggery melts and there are no lumps. Keep the heat low if required so the jaggery doesn’t burn. It will become more like a syrup.
Add ramdana / amaranth seeds and mix well.
Pour the mixture in the greased tin and
spread it evenly with a spatula.
Let it set for 20-30 min then remove it from the baking tray and either break into pieces or cut into squares.
Keep in an airtight container.
Note- Some people make a syrup or Paak of jaggery with water. I prefer it this way. To make it crisp you’ll need to melt the jaggery a little longer without burning. I just wait till it dissolves completely and add amaranth. This chikki/brittle is a bit softer than the market version.
Popped Amaranth seeds Parfait with Mixed Fruit And Nuts
I love yogurt Parfaits and this is one of my favorites. You can do so much with this basic recipe. Add any fruits, nuts, seeds to it with natural sweetness of fruits and perhaps some home made preserve or organic honey or organic jaggery slivers/ granules if you like it sweeter. Dates/ Prunes make this frappe very delicious and naturally sweet too.
Chopped Prunes or Dates
Popped Amaranth seeds
Chopped mix nuts (walnut, cashew, almonds etc and mixed raisins ( black, gloden)
Homemade preserve/ honey/ maple or date syrup/ molasses or jaggery
Just layer these ingredients one by one to make the parfait presentable or if in a rush just toss everything together and have it. Both ways you’re getting the goodness of this power packed recipe. Top the frappe with the Preserve or any of the other sweetening ingredient mentioned above. It is entirety up to you what to add/remove.
Make it as healthy and innovative as you desire.
Hope you liked these recipes. Do try and let me know in the comment section about your experience.