Bottle gourd leaf and poppy seed paste makes for an excellent bong saak (or saag in general hinglish).
This post is about amaranth, then why am I referring to bottle gourd? The reason is because this dish is traditionally made with bottle gourd leaves/twigs. However, like a lot of things it is not available in US, so I replaced it with the nearest thing I could find. To my surprise amaranth turned out to be an excellent alternative, and if I may say so a better alternative.
In these days of pesticide overusage, remember to wash the leaves thoroughly in running water to remove as much as you can.
- 1 bunch note saag / amaranth (I could easily find it in the local Indian store, you just need to know what its called. Note saag is not a notable name)
- 1 large potato cut in wedges
- 1 tsp. kalonji / nigella seeds
- 3,4 green chilies slit length wise
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder
- 3,4 tbsp. of poppy seeds
In a grinder make a smooth paste of the poppy seeds by adding very little water.
Heat mustard oil in a pan and temper it with kalonji and green chilies. Once the spices start popping up add potato wedges and turmeric powder. Fry on medium high heat for a while. Now add chopped greens along with salt and a pinch of sugar. Once you add salt, the greens will start releasing water. Mix it well and cook it covered till the potato becomes soft. Be careful about the quantity of the salt because the final volume of the dish will decrease to 1/4th of what you start with. So adjust accordingly.
Now add poppy seed paste and give it a nice mix. Wait till the water is completely dry. Finish it with a spoonful of raw mustard oil and enjoy with steamed hot rice.