Savory Red Amaranth Leaves And Sattu Pancakes


This is the season for Amaranth greens, both greens streaked through with shades or red and purple or purely purple red. Both equally nutritious and full of health giving vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, antioxidants and dietary fiber. It is a good source of protein and iron too.

Fresh and cheap, they can be used in variety of dishes from salads, stir fries, it can be  mixed with dal, added to soups, fried as fritters or pan fried like pancakes.with your choice of flour from ragi (finger millet) , buckwheat, bajra (pearl millet), or chickpea flour. multi-grain pancake can be really a filling option. There are numerous way to turn these leaves into vegetable dishes.

I made besan cheela, a crepe like dish made with chickpea flour with red chaulai or amaranth leaves a few days back but here I decided to give the pancakes a twist by adding sattu. I have done a few more posts about the goodness of this roasted gram flour which you can check in the recipe index.

Sattu is again a wonder flour with a lot of nutritive value. You can make it at home too.

As sattu isn’t a good binding agent I have used a small amount of besan or chickpea flour so that our batter turns out well.

This is a gluten free, vegan recipe. The pancakes can be eaten as breakfast or as a tea time snack. One must consume them immediately as they tend to turn soft.

Crisp from outside and soft from inside these pancakes are one of my favorites.

Ingredients : 

  • Fresh Red Amaranth Leaves – 1 Cup chopped
  • Onion – 1 Medium chopped roughly
  • Green chili – 2 chopped fine
  • Sattu | Roasted Gram Flour – 4 tablespoon
  • Chickpea Flour | Besan – 2 tablespoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Red Chili Powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Black Pepper Powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Water – for binding
  • Olive Oil – 2 tablespoon

Steps :

  1. In a large bowl add chopped amaranth leaves, onion, green chilies, sattu, besan, salt, pepper powder, chili powder and mix well.
  2. Rub the mixture with your fingers till the dry ingredients have incorporated well in the veggies.
  3. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. The amaranth leaves and onion will release juices and moisten the mixture.
  4. Now add a little water at a time to make a thick batter. It should be just enough to bind the mixture properly.
  5. Sattu can not bind on its own so we use a little besan for binding. Use more of sattu and less of besan always.
  6. Heat a non stick pan and drizzle some olive oil in it.
  7. Divide the mixture in 4-6 small size portions. Spread a small portion of batter and pat with your fingers to spread it like a pancake.
  8. Repeat with other portions as well. Cook on low – medium heat till it crisps on one side then flip carefully.
  9. Brown and crisp the other side too, pressing it gently with a slotted spatula.
  10. Once both sides are nice and crisp, serve immediately with the dip or chutney of your choice. I had them with mint coriander mayo dip.
  11. These pancakes have a lovely flavor of amaranth and sattu and are incredibly crisp so don’t wait to dig in or they will become soggy.

My Tip: You can use both green or red amaranth leaves but I prefer the red ones for their high iron content and earthy texture. This is a low fat snack as we use just a little olive oil to cook it in pan rather than frying. You may omit onion and the pancakes will taste awesome.

I also realized that the leaves to flour ration should be 2:1 so we get more crunch from the leaves. Here as i used sattu I kept it a little more than usual. Both ways it tastes yum.

Healthy Sattu Paratha With Baingan Chokha


 

Sattu – roasted gram flour – is not just low on cost but healthy and one of the highest source of indigenous plant based proteins. I did a post on how to make sattu at home. You can read it here 

In Bihar esp south Bihar, Jharkhand and Eastern Utter Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab, sattu is not just  a part of daily diet but a way of life. This protein rich food is the lifeline of rural bihar because of its cost effectiveness and rightly so.  Versatile in nature, one can make rotis, litti, poories, parathas, laddoos, mix it into a refreshing sweet or salty drink or just eat this wonder flour like a chutney. The most interesting fact is this flour needs no cooking. You can just mix it in whatever preparation and enjoy its benefits.

Here we will make delicious sattu parathas where the stuffing is made of sattu flour mixed with other ingredients while the paratha is made with wheat flour. Sattu parathas are usually eaten with smoked and spiced mashed eggplant vegetable called bharta or chokha. Some people make the cooked version of it but traditionally it includes all raw ingredients apart from roasted eggplants. It is again simple and delicious dish that pairs well with these parathas.

I have also made charred bell pepper raita with it which I learned from a very talented blogger Monika Manchanda. You must visit her blog Sinamontales for such lovely recipes.

Now I have used charred or roasted sweet peppers in pasta sauces and dips but not as it is used in this raita. It was a delight to make and eat. I will do a separate post for the raitas.

To make Sattu Parathas

Ingredients  for filling:

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Chana Sattu ( roasted Bengal gram flour) – 4-5 tablespoons

Onion – 1 large finely chopped

Green chili – 1-2 finely chopped

Salt – to taste

Garlic Cloves – 4-5

Grated Ginger  – 1 inch piece

Ajwain seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Oil from pickle ( Or red chili pickle) (Homemade) – 2 teaspoon

Lemon juice – 2 teaspoons or more

A little water.

For Paratha –

Whole wheat flour – 2 cups

Salt -a little

Ghee – 1/2 teaspoon ( salt and ghee are optional)

Water for kneading and making the dough

Steps – 

Make tight paratha dough by slowly adding water to the wheat flour, salt and ghee mixture. Once that’s done kneed it with your fist to make the dough pliable and soft.

Wrap with a moist muslin cloth and set aside.

Now, in a bowl take sattu and add finely chopped onion, green chili, ajwain seeds, salt, finely chopped garlic and grated or chopped ginger along with mashed up mango or red chili pickle with oil from the pickle. Add fresh chopped coriander greens and lemon juice.

Sprinkle some water and rub in the ingredients into the sattu gflour by massaging it with your fingers till every thing is incorporated well. The chopped veggies will release its juice so be easy with ater. The mixture must be of the same consistency as the dough.

To make the parathas 

Put a tawa or a pan on medium flame and let it heat while you roll the paratha.

Divide the dough into four or five smooth balls.

Take a ball of dough and press it a little to make it into shape of a pattie.

Dust the working board and the pattie with some dry flour then roll it out into a3-4 inch circle with a rolling pin. Spoon some stuffing on its center and gather the dough by lifting the rolled dough upward from the edges and bringing them together to seal the stuffed ball. They should meet at the center and the open ends should be sealed properly to avoid breakage and spilling.

Apply oil to the inside of the rolled circle before stuffing as it prevents breaking and spilling.

Now dust the stuffed balls again and gently roll them into a flat round paratha. Make sure the edges are thin and even.

Put the paratha on the midium hot tawa and brown from both sides.  brush ghee on the circular edges and and evenly on the paratha then flip to do the same to the other side till it is crispy and nicely done.

Transfer it to the plate and make the other parathas similarly.

To Make Bhaingan Choka/ bharta Or roasted / charred eggplant veggie –

Ingredients :

Large round eggplant – 1

Onion – 1 large chopped

Green chili – 1-2 chopped fine

Coriander greens (fresh) – 2 tablespoon chopped fine

Salt – to taste

Mustard oil – 1 tablespoon raw or smoked depending on your taste

Asafoetida – 1 -2 pinch

Garlic and ginger – finely chopped 1 teaspoon each

Steps –

Wash the eggplant and pat dry. Put it on medium flame directly on gas stove to roast evenly from all sides or you can roast till in oven too. Brush a little oil over it before roasting.

When the eggplant softens a little insert the garlic with skin into it and let it cook inside the eggplant . You can also peel and cut it to use it raw if you like the taste.

Once the eggplant is roasted well take it off flame and let it cool. Once cool, remove the charred  skin and mash it up wit ha fork or spoon.

In a bowl add the mashed smoked eggplant, finely chopped onions, mashed smoked garlic or the chopped ones, ginger, green chili, coriander leaves, salt  and mix properly. Add the mustard oil to it and hing (asafoetida) You can  smoke the mustard oil and  when it is warm add hing to it then pour over chokha too.

Both ways it tastes nice but raw mustard oil gives it a unique rustic flavor.

Some people shallow fry all the ingredients before adding them to the  roasted eggplant. That is a different version . Chokha is usually not cooked.

Serve the hot sattu parathas with baingan chokha , dahi ( curds), chaach (buttermilk)  or raita like I  did.

Enjoy this wholesome delicious rustic meal full of nutritional benefits.