Thotakura Pulusu


Amaranth Stew
Leafy vegetables are used widely in my home. They are loaded with nutrition and packed with proteins. Thotakura which is referred as Amaranth (in english) is a delicious leafy vegetable related to spinach family and is used a lot in traditional Andhra cooking – stir fry’s, stews and dal. It blends very well with most of the vegetables and dals(lentils). Thotakura pulusu (stew) is a very simple and tasty dish spiced up with chillies and sweetened with jaggery. Pulusu, a clear broth (tamarind) cooked with vegetables and spices is served as a side dish along with rice. Basic ingredients in such stew always stays same only the additional ingredients either vegetables or lentils keeps changing.

Green, white and red amaranth leaves are available in India. Green and white leaves are used in stir fry’s or curries while the red one is often used in making stews. These leaves contain a very good source of vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, riboflavin, and rich in dietary minerals and the stem contains a good amount of fiber. Amaranth is also known as Red spinach and Chinese spinach.


1 bunch or 3 cups tender amaranth leaves & stems (clean & chopped)
8-10 pearl onions (peel and trim the ends)
3 green chillies
1/2 tbsp besan (chickpea flour)
(Mix besan with 3 tbsp of water without any lumps and keep aside)
2-3 cups water (to cook)
2-3 tbsp tamarind pulp (thick)
1-2 tbsp jaggery/sugar (optional)
1/4th tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil

2 dry red chillies (broken)
½ tsp mustard seeds
1/4th tsp mustard seeds
Big pinch hing

Heat 1 tsp oil in a small pan. Add all the ingredients listed below seasoning and fry till mustard seeds pop. Turn off the heat and keep aside.



Heat remaining oil in a heavy bottom vessel. Add green chillies and onions and sauté for 3-5 minutes on medium heat. Add chopped leaves & stems, salt, turmeric and ½ cup water and cook until the leaves are done (3/4th) now add tamarind pulp, jaggery, besan mix, water and bring it to boil, keep stirring in the middle to avoid besan from curdling. Reduce the heat, adjust the taste add anything if need and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Crush the fried seasoning and stir into the pulusu (stew) and cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat. Shift into serving dish.

Serve with steamed rice, dal and papad.

Notes and Tips

You can use frozen pearl onions or soak the onions in warm water for 10 mins, the skin will peel off easily. You can add garlic and tomatoes to this dish. If you are allergic to besan skip adding it.


22 Responses to “Thotakura Pulusu”

  1. November 19, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    For the first time in many years I grew my own Amaranth and cooked with it. I love it. Looks great. I make a similar dish with Spinach!:))

  2. November 19, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    Soooooooooooooooooooo quick:), you boost my energy Asha!!. I remember all those delicious summer veggies grown in ur backyard.. One of my friends mom makes with spinach. I like it with Amaranth than spinach.

  3. November 19, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    wow!!!!…i love this ….must great with rice or with chapati…awesome ….

  4. November 19, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    Hello Shivapriya,

    I love thotakura pulusu.But I get them here only in summer.
    Loved the picture.Yummy!

  5. November 19, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    we usually cook thotakura pappu but pusulu is very new looks so yummyyy thanks for sharing delecious recipe

  6. November 20, 2007 at 12:10 am

    looks yum Shivapriya 🙂

  7. 7 bee
    November 20, 2007 at 12:24 am

    my fav indian green. thanks for the recipe.

  8. November 20, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    Yes Deepa, its tastes good with rice and roti.

    Madhuri, Look around for Chinese or Korean stores they carry year around, I buy from korean store.

    Sagari, We make pulusu, koora and also pappu with thotakura. We even make thotakura ava pulusu. Give it a try.

    Thanks roopa

    Thanks bee, mine too. did u try this version with Amaranth leaves??

  9. November 21, 2007 at 11:04 am

    It is really good to have a stew like this with only greens. Is it soupy or is it thick ? You can send this for Srta’s grindless gravies if it is thick

  10. November 21, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    wow! that looks d-lish! such a creamy texture 🙂

  11. November 22, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Shivapriya this recipe looks so delicious! I have never tasted amarath leaves before only the grains. This is such a healthy meal it looks fantastic. 🙂

  12. November 22, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    Sandeepa we make this with all differnt kinds of greens available in India. Its lil thicker than soup and thanks for letting me know about Sra’s event. I sure will send it to her.

    Richa, it turely tastes yummy both with rice and roti.

    Jeena you can make this with Spinach as Asha said. Just replace Spinach with Amaranth and don’t add chickpea flour as Spinach becomes lil sticky when cooks.

  13. November 23, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    This looks so delicious.

  14. November 25, 2007 at 9:29 am

    So amarnath is our very own thotakoora! Nice recipe shivapriya and thanks for posting the Indian name! 🙂

  15. November 25, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    As a kid never liked it and now i relish it so much,and its rich content in Iron and vitamins makes me even more partial towards thota koora, we have a huge vegetable garden at my moms house in Hyderabad, but in Bangalore i find it difficult to get fresh thotakoora,might have to try harder:)

  16. November 29, 2007 at 1:18 am

    Amma makes this pulusu, adding coconut as the andra kerala combo 🙂
    Made me nostalgic, Shivapriya!…coz I love this pulusu and rarely make here.

  17. January 21, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Nice recipe…. thanks…..

  18. 20 pooja
    July 16, 2008 at 11:45 am

    nice recipe……the taste was really good…thank u
    can u post some recipe of verdugolas…i don’t know waht they call that in telugu .. it is aslo a green leafy vegetable…

  19. 21 Jaya
    April 14, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Woww, pulusu looks so mouth watering, this is how my mom makes too, I’m going to make this tonight with bachalikura :), cant wait to have it.

  20. 22 Nadeem
    March 31, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Would someone please suggest. Where do we get Amaranth(Thotakura pappu)in hyderabad.
    Please help.
    my email id : nadeemuddinz@yahoo.co.in

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: