The “New-normal” phenomenon has touched our lives in small and big ways. We truly understood the real need to eat naturally & locally sourced foods. Our country India, its geographical location, our customs and traditions have made us eat the natural way & heal the real way. One such interesting tradition is the arrival of Shravan (Monson). The season brings in a lot of rain, nature’s transformation, lush greenery and a lot of Hindu festivals. Upwas or traditional fasting has been a common tradition since ancient ages. Besides sago or sabudana or tapioca and varai or saam ke chawal there is a grain named Rajgira or Amaranth which is also the “New-age” super food. It is gaining popularity in the upwas times or among people with Gluten or IBS or Weight Loss issues due to its high digestible properties termed as Laghu guna according to Ayurveda. Time to change your traditional upwas cereals to this magic grain Rajgira or Amaranth. Lets know more about this Super-Upwas food: Rajgira or Amaranth in our New blog.
Being ancient and well known, this superfood was widely used by our ancestors in a variety of dishes throughout the year. We only recollect it in the form of Rajgira Ladoo. Amaranth was long forgotten partially in some parts of the world but now it has been rediscovered again as a New-age pseudo-grain. It has again gained immense popularity due to its wide nutritional range and it possesses characteristics of a fast growth rate, and good tolerance to any type of soil or land cultivation process (drought, salinity, alkalinity, acidic, or poor soil). You will be surprised to know that Rajgira or Amaranth is a pseudo-cereal crop and comes under the millet category.
Ayurveda aspects of the superfood:
Ancient Ayurveda science has mentioned that Amaranth (Rajgira) is a lighter and easily digestible cereal in comparison to other upwas options like sago or potato or sweet potato. It pacifies Pitta, Kapha and Vata in our body i.e. called Tridoshahar. Lets know more in quick details:
This superfood is beneficial in Kapha dosha as it is lighter and dry in nature, it reduces the excess Kapha in the body. It is helpful in reducing Kapha-related disorders like respiratory infections and lung infections. It has proven to be a beneficial superfood in the pandemic times, Covid-19 is a Kapha-related disorder, people with the symptoms when switched to Rajgira flakes instead of corn or buckwheat flakes have shown better improvement and tolerance to fighting the virus with improved immunity.
Being a mild sweet tasting grain, Amaranth has Madhur Rasa and Vipak, so it is helpful in reducing over-exacerbated Pitta and thus improving appetite by lowering hyperacidity issues.
Though dry and light in nature, it does not aggravate Vata because of its mild sweetness. It pacifies Vata disorder and has proven to be beneficial in digestive disorders like celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, bloating, stomach ulcers & IBS.
Nutritional aspects of the superfood:
Amaranth grain is high in protein and it has Lysine & Methionine in ample quantities, mostly two potent limiting amino acids in other cereals and legumes rendering it as a beneficial grain.The protein content in Amaranth/Rajgira is good quality, bio-available and hypoallergenic comparable to that in milk casein.
Amaranth grain is free of gluten, high in fibre, hypoallergenic making it a great alternative to corn flakes or processed breakfast cereals.
Amaranth is naturally fortified with complex carbs along with Iron, Calcium, Vitamin C, Phosphorus, Manganese, Selenium and Magnesium thus making it a Superfood.
No other cereal is rich in antioxidants like Amaranth (Rajgira) thus making it a great option for weight loss, diabetes management or gut issues management.
How to incorporate Rajgira into daily diet routine:
Earlier this superfood was widely used only during upwas or traditional fasts but recently this is widely consumed by people in their daily diet as well. One may consume this superfood in the form of breakfast flakes or puffs, add them to a porridge, make pancakes and dosa with the flour.
People suffering from cold, cough and weight issues can also consume Rajgira in the form of flakes or puffs and make small pancakes to reduce Kapha dosha.
For Pitta-related disorders like hyperacidity, people may consume Rajgira puffs in salads or porridge in breakfast or dinner times.
For Vata-related disorders like Arthritis, people may add Rajgira flakes or puffs to cow milk or lactose free milk in breakfast or consume with vegetables as stews at dinner time.
To increase the nutritive value of this superfood we may complement this with other foodstuffs like jaggery or pink salt , almonds, dates or vegetables etc to make the dish more appealing to the senses.
Let’s have a quick look to some of the quick fix dishes using Rajgira/Amaranth other than upwas or traditional fasting times.
To make the Amaranth Super Salad Recipe first combine the beets and carrots in a salad bowl.
Drizzle in the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil to the beets, carrots and bell peppers. Top it with the chopped dried figs, and chopped basil leaves and toss it all very well.
Mix the amaranth puffs and sesame seeds next to the beet and carrot salad mixture only when you are ready to serve. This is to ensure that they don’t get soggy and lose the crunch.
Check the salt and seasoning and adjust it to suit your taste. The Amaranth Super Salad is ready to be served as a meal by itself for a delicious dinner along with warm toasted bread and soup.
Healthy Rajgira Kheer
(A to-go breakfast option)
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Makes: 2 servings
⅓ cup amaranth grain (rajgira or amaranth) or 1 cup Rajgira puffs
1.5 cups water ,
1 cup milk (cow-milk/lactose free),
2-3 brown dates/seedless dates,
5-6 cashews or blanched almonds, sliced ,
1 tsp green cardamom or nutmeg powder,
3-4 dried rose petals, chopped (optional)
Roast 1/3 cup amaranth grains in a non-stick pan for 3-4 mins on low flame, once puffed, keep aside or you may buy Rajgira puffed grains from a supermarket or Bio-shop.
Now take a non-stick pan or vessel and add 1.5 cups of water into it. Bring it to a nice boil. Add the roasted Rajgira flakes to the water and simmer for 5-6 mins.
Now add 1 cup of milk (cow milk or lactose free) to the above mix.
Keep the pan or vessel on sim or low flame. Stir the milk and the cooked amaranth grains mixture very well. Simmer on a low flame for another 5-6 mins. Do keep on stirring at intervals so that the kheer/porridge does not stick to the base of the pan or vessel.
Add chopped dates and mix well and simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Now add cardamom-nutmeg powder. Combine and switch off the flame .
Lastly for finishing touches add sliced cashews or almonds.
Now take your regular porridge bowl or glass container and put the porridge into it. Decorate with dried rose petals(optional).
You can also add raisins and crushed saffron instead of dates/almonds/cashews.
Serve as per your preference and enjoy .
In our Wellness plans we suggest different forms of foods and recipes considering the amounts, availability & affordability of the superfoods in our diet plans based on the prakruti, geography & climate in which a person lives. Connect with our Wellness Coaches & Wellness Experts and know more about how to incorporate “Amaranth grains or Rajgira” into your menus and make eating natural & local the “New-Habit”.