Laal Maathachi Amshi (Red Amaranth leaves, cooked in coconut milk)

Laal Maath leaves

Laal Maath leaves

Aamshi, cooked and tempered...

Aamshi, cooked and tempered…

Laal Mathachi Aamshi

Laal Mathachi Aamshi

The monsoons are here, and along with endless rounds of chai and pakoras or wada pav; I get really excited about all the fresh, seasonal leafy veggies that arrive in the local vegetable market. Veggies such as  takla, khapar futi, ambadi, ghol, pohi (Malabar spinach), kalmi (water spinach), laal maath (red amaranth);  typically known as ‘pavsali bhajya’  in Marathi or vegetables that only grow around the monsoons; are quite a treat with their unique flavors and freshness. Most of them are harvested from wild shrubs and are packed with a lot of nutrients. The best way to consume them would be to make a simple stir fry with chilies, onion and garlic.

While I like quite a few of these vegetables in the simplest form, I was never really a fan of Laal Maath because it has this sort of strong flavor once stir-fried, that does not really agree too well with my palate. Nevertheless, Laal Maath is extremely rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins (like folate, B6, K and C), iron, calcium and is a rich source of dietary fibre; which means I must definitely include it in my family’s and my diet, even though I wasn’t a big fan. However, sometime last year, I happened to taste this Konkani style preparation with Laal Maath, tamarind and coconut milk, called amshi (means a sour curry in Konkani) that I absolutely loved. The strong smell that I disliked, was perfect masked by the acid from the kokum or tamarind extract and the sweetness from the coconut milk.

I tried replicating what I ate using the recipe below as soon as I found a fresh bunch of Laal Maath with my local vegetable vendor for this season. Went well with jowar bhakris, but I feel it would go better with rice bhakris.


One bunch (~500g) of Red Amaranth (Laal Maath) leaves, washed, drained and patted dry;

3 green chilies, slit;

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced;

Extract from 4-5 pieces of Kokum (Garcinia indica) or 3-4 pods of tamarind;

1 cup thin coconut milk;

4-5 dried red chilies;

A handful of curry leaves;

½ tsp chopped jaggery;

½ tsp cumin seeds;

½ tsp mustard seeds,

A pinch of asafetida;

Salt to taste;

1 tbsp Oil.


  1. Chop the Laal Maath leaves roughly.
  2. Heat a few drops of oil in a pan until the oil begins to smoke. Lower the heat and add the cumin seeds to the oil. Allow them to crackle.
  3. Now add the chopped garlic and slit green chilies to the oil and fry until the garlic is golden brown.
  4. Add the Laal Maath leaves and toss evenly. Add a splash of water to the leaves and then cover the pan and cook on low heat until the leaves are tender. Keep stirring occasionally to ensure that the leaves are cooked uniformly.
  5. Once the leaves are almost cooked, add the kokum or tamarind extract, salt and jaggery; and cover and cook for a couple of minutes more.
  6. Now add the thin coconut milk to the pan and cook for about two minutes with intermittent stirring. Turn off the heat.
  7. In another small pan, heat the remaining oil as before and temper it with mustard seeds, dried red chilies, curry leaves and asafetida (in that order). Pour this tempering over the cooked vegetable in the other pan.
  8. Serve hot with rice, rotis or jowar/rice bhakris.

9 comments on “Laal Maathachi Amshi (Red Amaranth leaves, cooked in coconut milk)

  1. Aruna Panangipally
    July 23, 2015

    Another great recipe, Nitali. 🙂 I am glad to be exploring so many new recipes with you. It is nice to have a cohort who uses all the traditional veggies in recipes.

    I just made Malabar Spinach or Mayalu this past week.


    • nitali04
      July 23, 2015

      Thank you very much Aruna.. Glad you ejoyed reading it, I learn so much from you all the time..
      It’s been a while since I last tasted Mayalu, it isn’t very easily available in Pune..My grandmother used to make delicious pakoras with it..


  2. abhishekramgadia
    July 24, 2015

    Sounds Spicy… Will surely try it out some time and then revert back on it 🙂


    • nitali04
      July 24, 2015

      It isn’t too spicy Abhishek..the tamarind and coconut milk tone down whatever heat is there from the chilies..Do let me know how it turned out when you try 🙂


      • abhishekramgadia
        July 24, 2015

        Sure 🙂


      • abhishekramgadia
        July 24, 2015

        Just noticed that you have Jaggery sitting in the recipe as well ! Red chilies and Jaggery sounds a pretty interesting combo…


      • nitali04
        July 26, 2015

        Yes, actually it is a fairly common combination in Maharashtrian recipes..both sweet and spicy together..


  3. sunil Ranade
    June 30, 2016

    Very nice


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