Amaranth, if unfamiliar, is an ancient grain originating on the American continent. It was a staple food of the Aztecs, Incas and Mayas, thought to have been domesticated 6000 years ago. Another gluten-free and delicious wheat alternative for those with celiac or gluten intolerance, Amaranth is a complete protein—containing all the essential amino acids, including lysine, which is lacking in most grains. High in fiber and a good source of magnesium and iron, it can be found at most grocery stores, health food stores and ethnic markets. Bob’s Red Mill is a good source for it.
In many South American countries, it is sold as street food, often popped like popcorn. In India, Mexico, Nepal, and Peru, it’s a traditional ingredient for breakfast porridge. In Mexico, a favorite treat is dulce de alegria -“alegria” is the Spanish word for joy – a sweet confection made from popped amaranth mixed with sugar or honey, very similar to our rice crispy treats.
Because of its small size, cooking amaranth is very fast and easy – gently boil like you would pasta, in water for 15 minutes, then drain. The cooked grains hold their shape and can be added to veggie burgers, patties, or your morning porridge for a boost of nutrition. Or for fun, try popping Amaranth, like you would popcorn on the stove top – the little popped grains look like miniature popcorn. In this recipe for Southwest Amaranth Lentil Patties, it adds a nutty flavor and pleasant crunchy texture.
Drizzle with the vegan chipotle aioli- which adds quite a bit of flavor and zest. Don’t leave this off.
Recipe Adapted from :http://gourmandelle.com/amaranth-patties-chiftelute-de-amaran
Southwest Amaranth and Lentil Patties with vegan Chipotle “aioli”
- • 1 cup red lentils
- • 1 cup amaranth
- • 1 tablespoon olive oil
- • 1 onion,finely diced
- • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- • 2 cups finely chopped kale
- • 1 teaspoon cumin
- • 1 teaspoon chili powder
- • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed (this is the binding agent, so don’t leave out)
- • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- • 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
- • oil for frying
- Chipotle “aioli”
- • 1 package silken tofu
- • 1/2 -1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- • 1 teaspoon coriander
- • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- • 3/4 teaspoon salt
- • juice of half a lime
- • 1 garlic clove
- Add red lentils and amaranth to a pot. Cover with water and boil for 15 minutes. Place in a fine mesh strainer and let drain extra well, pressing liquid out. While draining…
- In a large skillet, saute onion in oil over medium high heat for two minutes. Turn heat down to medium. Add garlic. Saute 3-4 minutes. Add finely chopped kale, spices and salt.
- Add onion-kale mixture to lentil amaranth mixture in big bowl. Stir to combine well. Add ground flax seeds and fold in fresh cilantro. Let cool.
- Make Aioli. Place all Aioli ingredients in a food processor and blend until very smooth, scraping down sides. Place in bowl and set aside.
- When cool enough to handle, form 2-3 inch patties and lightly coated in flour and dry amaranth seeds. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
- Heat 1 -2 tablespoons oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
- Sear patties a few minutes on each side, until golden brown and place in a warm oven until heated all the way through.
- Serve with the chipotle aioli and fresh sprigs of cilantro.