The pink flowers at a distance dotting the mountain sides as we drove to Badrinath looked so beautiful with streams flowing below and mountain peaks behind. One often wondered what the pink was. Many years later when I started walking more around these villages, I realised that they were Amaranth flowers,
That was a time when I didn't know what Amaranth was and much less how to use it. In fact I knew it as 'Ramdana' since that is what the villagers called it. They would pop it in a heavy bottomed pan and use it in some kind of sweet snacks.
A few years later I started getting it regularly and exploring different ways of using it. Below is one of my favourite recipes. Stay tuned for more...
Soak half a cup of Amaranth washed with 2 tablespoons of rice for 2 hours
Grind the Amaranth and Rice mix in a blender until smooth
Make thin crepes from the batter and use with a filling of your liking like sauteed vegetables or a bit of honey if you like it sweet. I have served it with a dip below.
Amaranth has been grown and used in the world for more than 8000 years especially by the Aztecs who even used it for their tamales and tortilla and had it as a staple food. It is packed in minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, folates and traces of Vitamin B6, way more than most other cereals or grains. 19% of Amaranth is carbohydrate and 4% is protein with the rest being water. The combination of Phosphorus and Calcium makes for it to be extremely good for bone density. And the vitamin B6 in a natural form helps those with anaemia and is useful for vegetarians. Amaranth is of course, also gluten free.
The protein in Amaranth is Lysine which the body cannot produce but requires. Lysine helps in calcium absorption and in reducing stress induced loose bowel movements amongst many other benefits.
A word of caution - Do not eat Amaranth raw. It does not have the enzymes required for digesting it.
SaveAGram sources Amaranth from the Himalayan villages and sells in select cities of the world.
(Please note the nutritional information is not researched by the author in any laboratory but purely based on internet research and information)