Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bhajje Amshe ( Red Swiss Chard/Red Amarnath in a spicy coconut sauce); Diabetes Friendly Thursday

With the Holidays behind us, so is the indulgence in calorie-rich foods . The New Year is here and with that is a newer us with renewed resolutions. Well, I don't know if anyone will stick to their resolution, but we should definitely make even greater effort to eat healthy! With this thought in mind our team of dedicated DFT bloggers have teamed up to bring you some delicious recipes overloaded with greens! 

So go ahead and enjoy the winters with Team DFT with Greens Overload! Bringing some hearty dishes with seasonal greens. 

                      Creating Recipes with a Cause! I am a proud DFT blogger. 
                                        To learn about DFT, Read this Link
                                        To view more DFT recipes, Click here!

My contribution to this is our very own " Bhajje Amshe". This is nothing but Red Amarnath leaves cooked in spicy coconut sauce.The reason I say " our very own" is because this is not a recipe that I invented. This has been in our culture, in our homes for generations. My mom made it, her mother made it, so on and so forth.

This is a very traditional recipe that is so easy that it is cooked without even much thought and effort going into it! The point of me telling you all this is that, someone who is a diabetic, doesn't necessarily have to go about finding new recipes to eat!! There is plenty in our everyday cuisine that diabetics CAN eat! It is all about being mindful of WHAT you eat and HOW MUCH you eat! This dish is traditionally served with rice but can be eaten with roti or chapati.

When it comes to rice, it makes a big difference whether you are eating white rice, parboiled rice,matta rice or brown rice as white rice has the highest glycemic index while brown rice has the lowest. Lower the glycemic index, better the food.It also matters whether you are eating rice or kanji. Kanji is rice with the water. We people from South Kanara, traditionally eat kanji for dinner. Kanji makes you feel fuller faster due to the water content in it.

Bhajje Amshe served with kanji made out of matta rice.

Bhajje Amshe is usually made with Red Amarnath leaves which is available only during the summer months here. Therefore, I have made this dish using Red Swiss Chard which is easily available in any supermarket. The dish looks pretty much the same whether you use Red Amarnath or Red Swiss chard. If you are not a coconut fan or are apprehensive about making a sauce using coconut, you could alternatively make a simple sauté using the same greens.The recipe for the sauteed version is here.

Servings: 4-6 ( 1-1.5 cups per person)


Red Amarnath/ Red Swiss chard: 1 medium-sized bunch
Water: 1/2 cup+1 cup( may not need all).
Freshly grated coconut: 2/3rd cup
Dried Red chillies: 2-3 ( can be adjusted based on individual spice level)
Dried tamarind: marble sized portion
Salt: to taste
Garlic: 6-8 cloves
Coconut oil: 1 tsp


Wash the red Amarnath or red swisschard thoroughly. Chop it finely and add to a pot containing 1/2 cup water. Add 1/2 tsp salt and bring it to a boil.

Reduce the flame and cook for another 6-8 minutes. Turn off the flame and keep aside.

Grind together freshly grated coconut, red chillies and tamarind to a fine paste, adding water as needed little at a time.  Your masala is ready.

Add the ground masala to the cooked red Amarnath/ red Swiss chard and bring it to a boil. Turn off the flame.


Heat coconut oil in a skillet/pan on low heat.
Peel and chop the garlic cloves into medium-sized pieces. Add this to the hot coconut oil. Sauté the garlic until it turns golden brown.

Now add this to the prepared swisschard and coconut sauce mixture.

Served with brown rice & salad

Serve hot with rice/roti.
I am bringing this to some of my favorite blog parties: Throwback Thursday ,Angie's Fiesta Friday and Saucy Saturdays! Two of my favorite blogger friends who post some of the best stuff on earth are co-hosting the Fiesta: Elaine @ foodbod and Julie @ Hostess at Heart!

Cooking made easy:

Quite often people shy away from greens as they do not know how to clean them and are therefore unable to get rid of the sand/dirt in the greens! There is nothing more repulsive than sand in your mouth while eating! There is an easy, foolproof way to clean the greens. Rinse the greens and then soak them in cold water with a few drops of vinegar for a few minutes. The vinegar takes care of any bugs, pesticides while the water will have the sand/dirt settle at the bottom. Although not advised, to be foolproof, you can chop the greens and soak it again in water for the second time. You will not be disappointed.

Footnotes (Tip for healthy living):

We are all aware of the multitude of health benefits of including green leafy vegetables in our diets. From providing essential vitamins like vitamin A, K, E, calcium, iron and folic acid to dietary fiber, the benefits are quite a few.Regular intake of greens in the diet may help prevent diabetes, heart disease and may be even cancer.
Swiss Chard is a powerhouse of antioxidants and an excellent source of vitamins A,C,K, magnesium, potassium, iron and dietary fiber.

Red Amarnath is also an excellent source of Vitamin A and beta carotene and is used to heal several skin conditions.It is an excellent source of dietary fiber and is used to treat constipation. 

Garlic is known for its anti-hypertensive and anti-diabetic properties.

Fresh coconut has been used in the South-Indian diet for time immemorial! Studies have shown that coconut is also high in dietary fiber and may contribute to maintaining a healthy body weight.


I am not a nutritionist or dietician. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietician before making any changes to your diet.

Do Check out the other DFT contributors  and their links!

Food for thought:

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. William James

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

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