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Purple Amaranth

Purple Amaranth
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Purple Amaranth

Amaranthus cruentus is a flowering plant species that yields the nutritious staple amaranth grain. It is one of three Amaranthus species cultivated as a grain source, the other two being Amaranthus hypochondriacus and Amaranthus caudatus. In Mexico, it is called huautli and alegría and in English it has several common names, including blood amaranth, red amaranth, purple amaranth, prince's feather and Mexican grain amaranth. In Maharashtra, it is called as shravani maath


Amaranthus cruentus is a tall annual herb topped with clusters of dark pink flowers. The plant can grow up to 6 ft in height, and blooms in summer to fall. It is believed to have originated from Amaranthus hybridus, with which it shares many morphological features. The plant is usually green in color, but a purple variant was once grown for use in Inca rituals.

Culinary Uses

Chawli leaves vegetable is a perfect combination with Bajra roti.

These leaves make up a good salad and are a wonderful addition to kadhi and Parathas. 

Choose methods of cooking that will retain flavor, color, and nutrients. Instead of boiling, steam them. Cooking at very high temperatures and long cooking times as it may turn green colour into dark green or black, hence would be unacceptable. 

Amaranth greens, streaked through with shades of red and purple, are fresh and cheap at Asian markets right now. Like snow pea shoots, amaranth greens to stir-fry: Slightly astringent when raw, the greens turn soft and mellow as they cook down. Though younger amaranth greens can be eaten raw in salads, the mature plants that you're likely to find in Chinese and other ethnic markets need to be cooked—in stir-fries, soups, simmered dishes, and so forth.

The leaves can be cooked like spinach, and the seeds can be germinated into nutritious sprouts. While A. cruentus is no longer a staple food, it is still grown and sold as a health food.

The species of amaranth, which is technically classified as a herb, is cultivated by many Asian cultures as a leaf vegetable. Across Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, and China (not to mention pockets of Africa and Europe where the vegetable is also common), cumin, chile peppers, onions, and garlic are common pairings for amaranth. Cultivated in Mexico thousands of years ago, both the leaves and seeds of amaranth are edible. The seeds, like that of quinoa, are high in protein and taste similar to true grains grown from grass seeds. They are ground into flour, popped like popcorn, cooked into a porridge, and made into a confectionery called alegría. 

In Maharashtra, during month of Shravan, a stir-fried vegetable with just grated coconut is served during festivals. The stem is used in curry made with vaal hyacinth bean.

Health Benefits

1. Regular use of amaranth in our food prevents the deficiency of vitamins A, B1, B2 and C, Iron and Potassium.

2. It protects against defective vision and respiratory infections. Fresh juice with honey is remedy for Chronic Bronchitis, Asthma.

3. Regular intake during Pregnancy and Lactation is highly beneficial. It helps with the normal growth of the baby, prevents the loss of calcium and iron from body, and eases delivery and best food to increase the flow of the breast milk.

4. Fresh juice with honey given to children will keep them healthy and strong. 

5. It's a natural tonic in conditions like bleeding from gums, nose, lungs, piles and excessive menstruation.
Read more at Wikipedia.

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