While this vegetable is available round the year, it waits for the monsoons to put up its biggest, brightest show. A bit like the peacock, preening and showing off its glorious plumage against a backdrop of drizzle and muddy dullness.
Just looking at the mighty bunch this morning made me feel that I could achieve dramatic things.
Like creating a quick soda bread that could combine vegetables, protein and wholesome carbs.
Well, I just sampled it for breakfast, and it works!
2 packed cups chopped and steamed amaranth leaves
2 cups wholewheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp schezwan sauce (this amount made the loaf zesty but not too spicy. You could add more or less, depending on your spice tolerance)
1/4 cup peanuts
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
A cup of water on standby
Blend everything but the leaves and the nuts until smooth. Add the leaves and whirr again. You might have to add some water to get the batter to the right consistency (thicker than pancake batter, but much slacker than dough).
Stir in the nuts and pour into a greased 4x9" loaf tin.
Bake at 180ºC for 40 minutes. Cool on a rack and slice.
I was worried that I had gone overboard on the amaranth, but the taste did not overpower the loaf or make it too moist.
The toasted sesame was a last minute thought, but the crunch of the seeds added a nice textural variation.