Home Cook With Me Cook With Me. Amaranth Leaves

Cook With Me. Amaranth Leaves

by Evenes Ruth Mafupa

So, this vegetable is actually so good for your hair and skin and you may actually want to eat it because it also tastes so good.

I thought I would share one of my favorite `vegetable and especially how I cook it. What prompted me to share this recipe is that, a friend brought me some black jack leaves. You know, I am originally Malawian and Malawians eat a lot of things especially when it comes to vegetables. We have quite a variety of vegetables to choose from. And because of that, I can’t stand having the same vegetable in my meals day after day. I love enjoying different foods. Does that make me a foodie? I don’t know.

Okay. So, a friend brought me some black jack leaves and asked me how to cook them. Then it occurred to me that I go on the internet to get how to cook/make different stuff and I also need to contribute my recipes. Someone out there needs to know how to make this. The black jack leaves were too few to make into a meal. But I had an amaranth plant in my small vegetable patch outside. So, since the cooking of both these vegetables is more or less the same, I decided to cook the amaranth instead.

Amaranth is called bonongwe in chiChewa, mowa in chiShona and indwabaza I believe in isiZulu. It is a vegetable that can be found in so many different parts of the world but mostly in Asia and Africa. I have know amaranth all my life and how I prepare it in the video is one of the traditional ways to prepare it. I think.

Amaranth leaves are packed with vitamins, including iron, vitamin C, A, K, B, Potassium and also Lysine, an amino acid needed by our bodies for the production of energy and absorption of calcium. It also promotes hair growth and good skin. If you were lacking enough incentive to eat amaranth, there it is.

Amaranth seeds are also eaten as a grain and made into flour. This I just found out when I was preparing for this post though. I had no idea the seeds are edible.

Amaranth leaves are best enjoyed fresh and eaten the same day they are harvested if possible. I wash them thoroughly first to make sure there is no sand or anything I would not want to cook and eat. I let the water run through the coriander on the final rinse to get rid of as much water as possible.

Before I start cutting the amaranth, I place the pot I am going to use on the stove on medium heat. I add a 100ml of water and bring to the boil while I chop the amaranth up. You don’t have to chop the amaranth by the way. You can just separate the leaves.

When I finish chopping, the water has also boiled. I add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda first and then the chopped amaranth to the boiling water. I cover and let it boil for about 5 minutes while I chop the tomato.

I add the chopped tomato to the pot and some salt to taste and then cover to let it cook for another 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender.

I then add peanut butter and mix well, preferably using a fork to make sure all the peanut butter mixes well, to make that creamy goodness.

Let it simmer for another 5 minutes before serving.

I enjoy amaranth with mealie pap, sadza or nsima with some protein. One can actually eat amaranth leaves on toast or any starch of choice.

Do you like amaranth leaves? How do you cook them? Please share. Otherwise, God bless you and keep well.


  • 300g of amaranth leaves
  • 1 large tomato
  • 100 ml water
  • a pinch of bi-carbonate of soda
  • 3 tablespoons of peanut butter the smooth one.
  • salt to test.