Tuesday, 7 February 2017


“Elai Dantu, neenyaakae nanage biddi gantu” grumbled grumpy  farmer Bantu. (Hey Dantu, why on earth did you get hooked to me?)
Lively leafy Dantu had this to say to her haughty hubby Bantu….
Potent nutrient, forever vibrant.  Grown as flower, cooked as veg…eatable, colour of mine can be red (nah not when angry!) or can be green (me in envy...with you? Ha ha nah J). Called in English as Amaranth I do justice, for neither the colour nor the flower in me withers even when death drags away my powers.

Crammed with carbos, packed with proteins, a mine of minerals in me you can find. Consume me. I am high in fiber. So your bowel moves better and your health shall bolster. I am easy to digest by all… be they toddlers or mighty older. I am so rich in iron. When you consume me, sure you can rest content.  B’cos on RBC you can count. I prevent your hair from greying, your skin from dying, just so evergreen you can be living. So rich I am in vitamins A n C that living with me has bettered your IsightU to its best. No wonder I see you see me eye to eye. Won’t you now call me “Darlin’ Dantu, you are such a deliteuu!” View cooking this leafy delight right below. You are sure to go green with envy. Miss it and you’ll end up marching past hungry, red and angry.

Down to earth traditional. Farmer’s favourite. Authentic Karnataka dish handpicked from an endless list of rasam varieties and served on a platter! Prepared by using a choice of greens, vegetables, lentils, sprouts stock (i.e., the water strained after cooking greens, grains or vegetables) this delicious Bassaaru derives its name from two Kannada words “Basidu” (which means strained) and “Saaru” (which means Rasam).
In the Rasam recipe shown below, Dantina Soppu (Amaranth) is used. 

Dish Type:  South Indian Vegetarian Stew
Time required:  40 min approx.
Serves:  5 persons approx.

Amaranth                                1 bunch
Tur Dal                                   100 gms
Turmeric powder                    A pinch
Tamarind paste                       1 tsp
Salt to taste                            1 tbsp approx.
Water                                    1000 ml approx.

For grinding:  
Channa dal                              1 tsp
Coriander seeds                      1 tsp
Raw grated coconut                1 cup (say ½ of ½ coconut)    
Asafoetida                               A pinch
Rasam powder                        3 tsps

For seasoning:
Oil                                           2 tsps
Mustard seeds                         1 tsp
Curry leaves                            few

Separate dantina soppu leaves from its stalk. Wash leaves and stalks thoroughly and drain out the water. Chop leaves fine and stalks too to small bits.
Cook dal in pressure cooker along with water, turmeric powder, dash of ghee and a few curry leaves. Dal should be well cooked and easily mashable. When cooker has cooled and dal is cooked, transfer cooked dal on to a colander. Reserve the drained water (known as broth) for making rasam.
While dal is cooking….
Boil stalks and soppu in a pan along with water. Switch off when they turn soft.
Transfer cooked stuff to a colander. Reserve the drained water for making rasam. In the same empty pan, prepare seasoning. To this add a pinch of turmeric, green chillies, boiled soppu, mashed dal and salt to taste. Saute for some time till the greens and dal blend together as a curry. Switch off the flame. Garnish with raw grated coconut. Dantina soppina palya (Amaranth Curry) is now ready.
To prepare rasam, add ground masala (prepared using ingredients listed above under “for grinding” to the broth. Also add salt and tamarind paste. Let the broth boil well till you get a nice aroma. To this add seasoning and garnish with fresh, fine chopped coriander leaves. Dantina Soppina Bassaaru is now ready.
Enjoy this dual treat with steaming hot rice and/or chapathis.

Tete – a – Tete:
Squeeze the juice from ½ a lime and add to the bassaaru at the end if you like a tangy taste.
A portion of the cooked dal can be ground along with masala if thicker consistency is required for rasam.
In any Bassaaru recipe, excess water is added to dal, grains and vegetables while cooking. Rasam prepared using this water (better known as broth) is highly nutritious.
Recipe contributed by nonagenarian and expert cook Smt. Lalithamma Ramamurthy


  1. This seems like a healthy and nutritious recipe to have for dinner or lunch. The south Indian dishes are rich in healthy nutrients and taste good.

    1. Definitely South Indian dishes are tasty healthy and most of them are easy to prepare too!