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Arai Keerai (spleen Amaranth Leaves)
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The characteristics of the leaves are similar to that of spinach and you can use them in the same manner.In the Indian subcontinent, the greens are called as chaulai found wide usage in curries, stews, and mixed vegetable dishes.
- In Kerala, where it is known as cheera, it is used in preparing a dish called cheera thoran. Here, the leaves are finely chopped and sautéed with spices, grated coconut, chillies and curry leaves.Similar cooking style is seen across India but with different mix of spices, and the stir-fry is then served as a side with rice.
- In Tamil Nadu, the leaves are also steamed, mashed and sautéed with a few spices to make a dish called keerai masial.
- Fresh, tender leaves and shoots can be eaten raw either in salads or juiced.
- interesting snack called thotakura undalu, which are crispy balls tempered with sesame seeds, curry leaves, chillies, hing and mustard seeds; and a mustard flavoured, tangy stew called thotakura ava pulusu.
- In the mainland China where the greens are called by name yin-tsai (A. tricolor or Chinese spinach), it is employed in stir-fries and soups.
- In the Caribbean, amaranth greens are known as callaloo and are one of the chief items in the popular "callaloo-soup" made with taro, ham hocks, peppers, celery, okra, coconut milk, and crabmeat.
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- Amaranth leaves are storehouse for many phytonutrients, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.
- Fresh amaranth leaves are one of the richest sources of vitamin-C.
- Fresh 100 g of leaf amaranth contains 29% DRI of iron. Iron is an essential trace element required by the human body for red blood cell (RBC's) production
- Amaranth greens perhaps have the highest concentrations of vitamin-K of all the edible green-leafy vegetables.
- its leaves carry more potassium than that of in the spinach. Potassium is an important component of the cell and body fluids that helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
- Amaranth has several vital antioxidant vitamins like vitamin-A
- Amaranth leaves contain only traces of fats and no cholesterol.
- The leaves and stems carry a good amount of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers. For the same reason, leafy greens including amaranth often recommended by dieticians in the cholesterol controlling , weight management.
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