Thursday, 23 August 2012

Your Akshaypatra brimmeth over!

Rajgira (Amaranthus/ Chaurai) and Moong Dal

This dish is privileged to be the impetus behind  two very interesting poems -one funny, cute and lighthearted and the other very sombre and thought provoking -  by my blogger and Facebook friend Suranga Date on her blog

And in two languages! The Akshaypatra truly brimmeth over!

...Draupadi was worried, she had had dinner and cleaned up. The Akshayapatra had been washed up and had lost its prowess and bounty per Surya Dev’s boon!

(So was the Akshayapatra a solar cooker that allowed the banished family to be fed without the need to light a fire? How nifty!

Did they eat before sundown? How healthy!

Or was it because the Akshaypatra didn’t have rechargeable built-in Lithium Polymer batteries?)

She prayed to Lord Krishna, her brother, her saviour!

(Did she sent him an SMS ? Telepathy... telephony... teleporty...)

Lord Krishna came to her rescue, yet again! He asked to see the Akhsaypatra and found a piece of vegetable stuck to the sides. He ate it and burped in satisfaction and appreciation!

(Yuck! How inefficiently was the dish washed! She only had that one pot to wash! And how could Krishna eat an encrusted morsel... remember your food hygiene! Where was HACCP!)

Sage Durvasa and his men emerged from their dip in the river, strangely full and sated. Embarrassed and fearing Draupadi’s wrath, they left without returning to the ashram for dinner...

(Why on earth was a sage in such a rage- anger management classes, rewuired much?)

Didn’t they have cottages with ensuite bathrooms?

If they decided to take a rain check, they should have had the grace to let their hostess know...)

Draupadi heaved a sigh of relief, her reputation saved, the second time over!

(This time not by the endless supply of sarees- LOL! that was another Akshaypatra! LOL! what is this with the endless supply of sarees, food, hubbies...some people are indeed blessed!)

(What green/saag do you think it was? Was it amaranthus- essentially a weed, but very nutritious and tasty?! Can you imagine your delicate darling spinach and methi growing in the forests?)

Was it Druapadi’s culinary skills, the magic of the Akshaypatra, or simply the flavourful green veggie that filled Krishna? Surely he was God enough to teach the sage brat pack a lesson?

Hmmm... that’s it! The vegetable was so tasty that the Lord was tempted to pick the encrusted leaf!

So, the leafy and unsuspecting protagonist of this tale comes to the forefront.

Amaranthus, rajgira, Chinese spinach... an Akshaypatra of flavour, nutrition, dietary fiber, and sustainability!

Rajgira (Amaranthus/ Chaurai) and Moong Dal

This is a simple bhaji or saag - almost a stir fry in a style that is very typically Marathi. My mother made a whole lot of combinations with moong dal, so I know the Rajgira leaves can be substituted with any greens, or even mooli and all gourds –I especially love it with snake gourd with some coconut and cumin ground together!

The stir frying / quick cooking retains the nutritional values of the greens and dal and the dish can go well with rice, chapattis, phulkas or jowar/bajra rotis. Tastes great as an accompaniment to dahi chawal, kadhi chawal or rasam-rice and also is a nutritional complement to these combinations of meals.


2 cups rajgira leaves and tender stalks, picked, washed and chopped
¾ cup chopped onion
½ cup split yellow moong dal soaked for at least an hour (will yield a larger volume after soaking)
1 teaspoon chopped garlic (or more)
2 dry red chillies (or more)
½ teaspoon rai seeds
½ teaspoon jeera
¼ teaspoon haldi
Salt to taste
A pinch of sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon oil


Heat oil in a kadhai and add the rai to splutter and jeera a few seconds later. Add the red chillies and fry for a few seconds. Add the onions, garlic and haldi and sauté just a bit. Add the chopped rajgira and stir for a few seconds. Drain the moong dal and sprinkle it evenly on top of the rajgira. The moisture from the chopped leaves will allow the dal to cook without burning or sticking to the bottom. Sprinkle some of the water in which the dal was soaked if required. Cover and cook on low heat for a few minutes until you see white steam escaping from under the lid. Remove the lid and stir the bhaji till most of the moisture is absorbed. Add salt to taste and the pinch of sugar (optional). Stir for a minute and remove from fire.

Serve hot or cold. You could even use sprouted moong beans- it’ll make the dish even more nutritious!


1 comment:

  1. hey.. thanks so easy to make recipe from tandaljo !


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