Spice Up Your Life! 28
(This page brings you information on various spices, fruits and vegetables, along with recipes and home remedies. Readers are cautioned to use remedies with discretion)
Tambdi Bhaji (Red Amaranth)
Tambdi bhaji belongs to the Amaranth genus and comes originally from Central America. It is found in abundance in India where it is relished in variations of vegetable dishes. This nutrient dense leafy vegetable is seen as a nourishing and cheap food by the natives of Goa.
- The high iron content of tambdi bhaji makes it ideal for persons suffering from anaemia.
- It is good for digestion and eases stomach problems like constipation because it has plenty of fibre.
- A rich source of magnesium and potassium, tambdi bhaji helps keep hypertension in check.
- Tocotrienols, a type of vitamin E, are present in red amaranth which can reduce LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein).
- The antioxidant properties of red amaranth can provide some amount of protection against cancer.
- Calcium is present in tambdi bhaji in a higher quantity than milk or spinach and it is therefore good for your bones.
- The leaves have astringent properties that can be used to treat acne and eczema.
- Because the red amaranth is a rich source of proteins, nutrients and trace minerals, it aids the maintenance of strong hair that will not grey prematurely.
Caution: Oxalic acid in tambdi bhaji can be a cause of concern if you have kidney problems. Oxalic acid can form kidney stones. You can remove the acid by boiling the leaves in water and throwing out the water which will contain the acid.
Recipes of the Goa Anglican Centre
These are the recipes of dishes cooked at the Goa Anglican Centre, a UK registered charity which hosts clergy and volunteers from time to time in Goa.
Tambdi Bhaji (serves 3-4)
Ingredients: 800 gm of red amaranth leaves, 3 medium onions, ¼ tsp of dry mango powder, 3 green chilies, 4 cloves of garlic, ¼ tsp of turmeric powder, 2 tbsp of oil, and salt to taste.
Method: Chop the onions into fairly thick half circles and sauté until soft, not brown. Add the chopped garlic and stir in the finely chopped tambdi bhaji leaves. Add the green chilies, mango powder, turmeric powder, and salt and mix well. Cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes. The more tender the leaves, the shorter the cooking time. You can also add a little moong dal to the dish for variation.
Mexican Chicken (serves 4-5)
Ingredients: 1.5-2 kg chicken (cut into large pieces), 250 gm courgettes, 2 large tomatoes, 2 bell peppers (red and yellow), ½ tsp mixed dry herbs, ½ tsp tomato purée, ½ tsp black pepper, juice of ½ a lime, salt to taste, and 2 tbsp of oil.
Method: Dice the courgettes, tomatoes, and bell peppers finely. Sauté the mixture in a pan. Add dry herbs, tomato purée, black pepper, lime juice, and salt and cook for 15 minutes on low heat to prepare the sauce.
Sear the pieces of chicken till lightly browned. Then arrange in an oven pan and pour the sauce evenly over the chicken. Cook at 180°C in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
Ginger tea made with a grated one-inch piece of fresh ginger root in 500 ml of water with 2 tsp of honey will help alleviate acidity.
Chewing 4 or 5 tulsi (holy basil) leaves or taking a few drops of juice extracted from the leaves in water with honey will soothe your acidity.