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

Chinese Spinach Curry (Thotakura)

Thotakura Palakura Tomato Kura:

The summer season for vegetables is coming into full swing here in Seattle. It’s overwhelming to see so many American as well as Asian vegetable varieties and it is getting impossible not to lose mind and money. The choice is endless and I love to be greedy. But, how many and how much one can buy, cook and eat? So, I am trying very hard to keep my cool at farmers’ markets and pick only the ingredients I’ve known from my childhood days that speak to my heart.

One fresh vegetable that I am enjoying to the fullest along with green brinjals is fresh amaranth. (Thotakura in Telugu). The label at the local farmers’ market says Chinese spinach or red spinach and one bunch is usually priced at one dollar. I have been buying this vegetable almost every week since May simply because I love the fresh amaranth taste. It is one of those “looks simple and yet yields results far outweighing the effort” kind of vegetable. In today’s recipe, another Nandyala classic, the fresh amaranth is paired with spinach and tomatoes. A stellar combination and a scrumptious curry!

Chinese Spinach, Red Spinach, Fresh Amaranth, Thotakura
Bunch of Fresh Chinese Spinach/Red Spinach/Amaranth/Thotakura ~ From Local Farmers Market


1 teaspoon peanut oil
¼ teaspoon each -cumin, mustard seeds and curry leaves
1 big onion – finely sliced, about one cup
2 tomatoes – finely chopped, about one cup
5 green chillies -finely chopped
1 teaspoon – ginger garlic paste
½ tsp each- turmeric and salt
1 bunch fresh amaranth (leaves and tender stems) – finely chopped, about 5 cups
1 bunch fresh spinach – finely chopped, about 5 cups
I have also added about ½ cup chori/adzuki beans (pre soaked in water overnight). This is my choice and optional. Chickpeas, kala chana etc also taste good.

Heat peanut oil in a wide skillet. Add cumin, mustard seeds and curry leaves and let them sizzle a moment before adding the sliced onion, tomato, green chillies and red beans. Also stir in the ginger-garlic paste, turmeric and salt.

Let everything stew together for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the whole thing comes together into cooked soft mass with tender chori (adzuki) beans.

Now add the fresh amaranth and spinach. Stir to mix and cook covered on medium-high for about five minutes until the leaves wilt. Remove the lid and cook another five minutes. Turn off the heat. Let the curry sit for few minutes so that the flavors could mix well.

Serve the curry warm with chapatis or sorghum roti and a cup of yogurt plus fresh fruit for a complete meal.

Chapatis with Fresh Amaranth-Spinach-Tomato Curry

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Red Beans (Chori),Spinach,Thotakura (Amaranth) (Monday July 2, 2007 at 9:12 pm- permalink)
Comments (16)

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16 comments for Chinese Spinach Curry (Thotakura) »

  1. Your comments about keeping your cool at the farmer’s market made me laugh! My parents come out from the east coast every year to spend the winter months with me. They are mostly vegetarian (we eat a little fish), and just go MAD for all the produce available here – even in winter. They want to hit all the farmers markets (3-4 a week) and I have to remind them repeatedly to PACE themselves when it comes to buying up all the vegetables. There’s only so much we can eat in one week…

    I made the sprouts (only red chori and moong, as I didn’t feel like going to buy moth beans) and it was tasty. I am slowly being won over to sprouts. It was hot here this weekend, so no issues sprouting.

    Comment by Diane — July 2, 2007 @ 9:32 pm

  2. very very true – i literally have to keep my hands folded sometimes to keep me buying all those veggies. Wonderful picture of the koora.

    Comment by revathi — July 2, 2007 @ 10:03 pm

  3. Except for a brief period at Houston, most of my US life was in east coast. Compared to east coast, it’s really like vegetable heaven here. Regular, old world kind plus designer vegetables, it’s almost like kid in candy store experience here for vegetable shopping.:)

    Glad to hear that you did the sprout thing, Diane.

    Revathi: I started budgeting myself. I was bringing home too much produce.:)

    Comment by Indira — July 2, 2007 @ 10:07 pm

  4. I live in Cincinnati and Meijer’s or Kroger is where I go and even then my room mate needs to tie my hands, I know try not to take my credit cards with me :)) “Kid in a candy store” exactly my expression !!

    Comment by Priya — July 2, 2007 @ 10:31 pm

  5. I had a bad experience once buying an unknown green from a chinese store. It was more of a herb than a green, with a *strong* lemony taste. Now am really hesitantto venture anything new. Do you know the Chinese name of this green that I can look up?

    Comment by Suganya — July 3, 2007 @ 12:48 am

  6. I too love this vegetable but I never thought of adding beans or chickpeas to it, even though I routinely make the normal spinach with dhal. What a great idea to add the adzuki beans to this! Adzuki beans are one of my favourites, too — they’re so soft and mildly sweet and I ate a lot of them growing up in Malaysia. Thanks to the protein they add to this dish, what you have on your plate in the picture is a complete meal! I’ll try this one the next time I find amaranth.

    Comment by Preeta — July 3, 2007 @ 4:20 am

  7. Indira,

    Lovely post and picture of the wonderful greens.

    I’m so inspired to try many veggies and greens I see in your posts.

    Thanks again!

    Comment by Kumudha — July 3, 2007 @ 5:56 am

  8. hmmm… looks yummy..i tried the amaranth and spianch combo but never with red beans… will give it a try…. i understand the temptation to buy fresh vegetables… my husband shows me the unused vegetables at the end of the week that we would have to use somehow because of my over enthusiasm in the department stores

    Comment by spandana — July 3, 2007 @ 8:03 am

  9. I love the way you’ve used the beans here…..beans and greens, they just seem so perfect for each other…. Keep enjoying the farm fresh veggies….if only, I was so lucky.

    I hope you’ve been well, Indira.


    Comment by trupti — July 3, 2007 @ 11:26 am

  10. ‘Awesome’ is what comes to my mind when I see thotakura thalimpu and vedi vedi annam.Thx Indira for such a wonderful recipe.


    Comment by sumi — July 3, 2007 @ 11:38 am

  11. Hi Indira – recipe looks yummy!!! I am in salt lake and i am not aware of any farmers market. I have not seen this chinese spinach in walmart 🙁 – any suggestions where to look for? And this is a wonderfully healthy dish – spinach and dhall! wow!

    Comment by Ram — July 3, 2007 @ 12:21 pm

  12. Hi Indira,

    I am a regular at your site and have recently moved to Seattle. I have tried quite a few recipies and they have turned out very tasty. even my picky hubby liked them :). Do you know whether we can get plantains and plantain leaves here? I tried Mayuri and Bharat groceries from time to time but did not find any :(.


    Indira replies:
    Hi Manju,
    I buy plantains from Uwajimaya, Japanese asain store.

    Comment by Manju — July 3, 2007 @ 3:40 pm

  13. I have never mixed these two together, except when my mom mixes them in the dal when there is not enough stuff. It looks awesome . Thanks for the recipe Indira

    Comment by Deepika Saripalli — July 3, 2007 @ 6:27 pm

  14. Hi! this green leaves combo is very new for me. Normally I used to prepare separately like spinach tomato and amarnath tomato. But its together…interesting and very soon I want to try this too. Looks great. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Jyothi — July 3, 2007 @ 9:34 pm

  15. Hi Indira, As usual a very tempting recipe from you. I live in Bellevue and have never seen this Chinese spinach in the farmers markets that i go to- Redmond, Broadway and West Seattle. Where do you buy this from?


    Indira replies:
    Hi Subha, I bought this from pike place market. There are few stalls on the outside and they sell fresh amaranth.

    Comment by Subha — July 6, 2007 @ 1:26 pm

  16. Indira,
    Do you have a recipe for puffing amaranth grains (rajgira) at home? If you do, please post…

    Comment by Ranju — November 27, 2007 @ 8:32 am

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