Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Dazzling Dals ~ Fresh Amaranth Dal

Thotakura Pappu:

In a cake culture, the main ingredients, flour, sugar and butter remain constant. By changing just one or two ingredients that add special touch to the cakes, they are given different names. Ex: If walnuts are added, the cake is named walnut cake, with bananas - banana cake, and the list goes on. The same thing applies to dals (pappu) as well. The protein part is constant, and the side ingredients that change with the seasons give us abundant varieties of dals. This amaranth flavored dal is one of them, devised by homecooks of Andhra, to make a dent in the mother lode of fresh amaranth that appear during summer time. Not only fresh leaves, tender stalks are also used in cooking. Ideal dal for a waste not, want not cook. Makes a nutritious meal when combined with rice.

Fresh Amaranth Leaf, Toor Dal and Tomato


Take about one cup of toor dal and 4 cups of finely chopped fresh amaranth - leaves and tender stalks together.

Add one each - tomato and onion (cut into chunks). Also stir in about 8 to 10 finely chopped small Indian variety green chillies, quarter teaspoon of turmeric and a tablespoon of tamarind.

Add about 2 cups of water. Mix once and cook covered until the dal reaches fall-apart stage, stirring between. Or simply pressure cook.

Add half teaspoon of salt and mash the dal coarsely.

In a wide vessel, heat about a tablespoon of ghee or oil. Do the popu or tadka = add and toast quarter teaspoon each - minced garlic, curry leaves, urad dal, cumin and mustard seeds in the order mentioned. When mustard seeds start to jump around, add this popu or tadka to the mashed dal. Mix and serve hot with rice or with chapati.

Amaranth Dal (Thotakura Pappu) ~ for JFI: WBB-Greens

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Thotakura (Amaranth) (Tuesday April 24, 2007 at 10:04 pm- permalink)

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14 comments for Dazzling Dals ~ Fresh Amaranth Dal »

  1. First to comment again!!! I love this dal.. my all time favourite. I tried the totakura pulusu with vankaya ,Indira and it was awesome!!!

    Comment by Deepika Saripalli — April 24, 2007 @ 10:15 pm

  2. A different taste but I like this dal too. Glad to hear that you liked the amaranth-brinjal combination.

    Congratulations on your new domain and blog, Deepika! Love the layout.

    Comment by Indira — April 24, 2007 @ 10:21 pm

  3. lovely dal, i do this without onions though.
    @deepika saripalli
    how do u do it?

    Anusha, Mythili of Vindu also mentioned the same thing. They do not add onion to dals. But for us dal includes onions usually.
    Still surfing at this late hour?:)
    - Indira

    Comment by anusharaji — April 24, 2007 @ 10:36 pm

  4. Hey Indira…the dal looks delicious. I just made spinach dal following your recipe today and needless to say, it turned out great..gotta try this one also very soon!!!

    Comment by Kavya — April 24, 2007 @ 11:25 pm

  5. we make it with a lot of onions!!! the best combo is thotakura and mamidikaaya though. It tastes good!!

    Comment by Deepika Saripalli — April 25, 2007 @ 6:22 am

  6. Thankyou Indira, I should thank Raji for that .. she helped me with it!

    Comment by Deepika Saripalli — April 25, 2007 @ 6:23 am

  7. Is this doesn’t become red after cooked. I tried your “amaranth fry”. Mine taste is good but it turned red. It will happen like that.

    I also made this dal long back but my dal also became red. So afterwards I never tried. Please tell me where am I doing wrong?

    Thank you

    Comment by laxmi — April 25, 2007 @ 7:34 am

  8. Love thotakura pappu.. Even my mom doesnt add onions in most of her dals. But I do beacuse of my husband. I’d love to get a bunch of thotakura to try all your recipes. Do you know what they call thotakura in hindi? Thank you Indira.

    Comment by Pavani — April 25, 2007 @ 9:17 am

  9. Kavya: glad to hear that you tried and liked the spinach dal recipe. Thanks for letting me know.

    Hi Laxmi, I didn’t face this issue. When I first washed the leaves, there was pale red coloration of water, but the leaves on cooking, didn’t color the dal and curries.
    I read that there are several different varieties of fresh amaranth, sort of like many types of brinjals. Perhaps yours belong to a different type or entirely different greens ? Sorry, don’t know more than that.

    Pavani: Here in Indian grocery stores, they are labelled “Red data”. You can easily identify the leaves. Green with red veins, big leaves.

    Comment by Indira — April 26, 2007 @ 10:33 am

  10. Hi Indira,
    I came to know about your blog yesterday and I was thrilled to see how great your recipies are. Thanks to my friend Reshma for forwarding the link to me. I came from a town Repalle in Guntur dist. and leaned to cook from my mother-in-law from godavari dist. who was a great cook. I used to watch her in the beginning while she was cooking. She was very particular about the order in which you add ingredients and the timing. We can find almost all vegetables and groceries in NJ. So, I’m going to try your recipies one by one. Thank you so much for giving out your recipies like this. My daughter loves pappu combinations. The pictures are great.

    Comment by Sudha — April 27, 2007 @ 8:57 am

  11. HI Indira,

    Thanks for the reply!!!

    I got the red greens from one of the indian stores. There they mentioned it as “red leaves”.
    So now I think I am buying a different variety than yours. It is not red thotakura.


    Comment by laxmi — April 28, 2007 @ 5:00 pm

  12. All I can say is amazing! I’m finishing a bowl of this delicious dal now and will help myself to another! For Bostonians, I found the thotakura at Super 88 market. They had loads of it.

    I am very new to Indian cuisine and your recipes are simply delectable and easy to follow for someone who is unfamiliar with the ingredients. Thank you!

    Indira replies:
    Happy to hear that you tried and liked this recipe, Dena. Thanks for letting me know, I greatly appreciated your comment. Thanks and happy cooking/eating!

    Comment by Dena — May 10, 2007 @ 10:32 am

  13. Hi Indira,

    I made this dal last night for dinner, and I must tell you, the taste was awesome. This was so easy to make and packed with so much flavor. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe :)

    Comment by Sangeeta — May 16, 2007 @ 9:08 am

  14. Hi Indira - Ok I was not sure if I had to comment and say it all over again . :) But I just cannot stop - the minute I saw the red spinach in the grocery store , I said , oh this is what I saw in Indira’s blog and grabbed a bunch. Made this dal yesterday and it was so good. Had a special yummy taste. This is going to be often made at home. Thank you Indira.

    Comment by Soumya — June 4, 2007 @ 11:04 am

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