Amaranth or Rajgira is also called as Ramdana in UP. Ramdane ke laddu is a popular fasting food in Banaras although it is not seen easily these days. I feel most of the amaranth is being marketed through high end grocery stores and health food stores now. Hoping that this will be a positive sign for the farmers and they would start cultivating more amaranth and less of wheat may be.
Although I am not fasting but the easy availability of all fasting flours during this times is a boon. I stock the fasting grains, seeds and flours for the next six months during each navratri (there are 2 navratri seasons each year), the flours go into the refrigerator during summer times, but winters allow them to be stored at room temperature.
I have been using amaranth flour a lot to make cakes, brownies and cookies as well, but those are the things I do occasionally. Our daily meals are simple and frugal most of the times. Here is one frugal meal that can be a good navratri fasting meal as well.
Amaranth flour dosa and green beans and potato stewed with coconut milk. It is actually a multigrain kind of dosa as I used sama rice, buckwheat as well as amaranth flour.
ingredients for the dosa:
amaranth flour 1/2 cup
sama (barnyard millet) flour 1/4 cup
buckwheat flour 1/4 cup
sour yogurt or cultured buttermilk 1 cup or a bit more
salt and pepper to taste
soda bi carb 1/4 tsp (if making the dosa instantly)
ghee as required to make dosas (thin crepes) on a suitable flat griddle
procedure for the dosa:
Mix everything together and let it stand for at least 3-4 hours before making the dosas. If you are making them instantly, add the soda bi carb and proceed to make dosas.
On the dosa griddle (I use my roti tawa mostly, use a nonstick pan if making dosa for the first time), smear a little ghee and heat it. Sprinkle water to cool down the griddle a bit and ladle about 1/4 cup of dosa batter to it and spread it in circular strokes making a thin crepe. Drizzle a little ghee and let the crepe brown on one side, flip to the other side and cook for a few seconds. Serve hot with the stew.
Repeat the process to make more dosas. You can make them thinner or thick as you like or as convenient.
Green beans and potato stewed in coconut milk
ingredients for the stew
green beans (French beans) 250 gm
one large potato about 150 gm
finely chopped ginger 1 tsp
broken dry red chillies as per taste
curry patta 12 springs
fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
thick coconut milk 300 ml
sesame oil 1 tbsp
salt and white pepper powder to taste
Using new potatoes will be good for this recipe. wash and clean the potato nicely, retain the skin and chop it into small cubes. String the beans and chop them all in 1 cm pieces, holding them all together over chopping board.
Heat the oil in a pan and tip in the fenugreek seeds and broken red chillies, followed by the curry patta and cubed potatoes. Add salt, pepper and turmeric powder and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the chopped beans and toss to mix everything well. Add the ginger and 1/2 cup of water, cover the pan and cook on low heat till cooked.
Add the coconut milk and simmer for a couple of minutes. Serve hot with dosa, appams and plain boiled rice as desired.