Thursday, 18 March 2010

Laal Shaak Bhaja / Stir fried Amaranth Leaves

I am posting this humble stir fried shaak or leafy vegetable for two reasons.

One ... I have been getting a lot of visits from people searching for recipes with the Laal shaak / Red Spinach. So decided to post it after all.
Two ... I don't have any other recipe or snap ready in my drafts. :-p

Traditionally, a Bengali full meal ... usually a lunch ... has to have a shaak or leafy vegetable on the side, that is eaten with the rice served. It can be a plain stir fry or can be made into a Chorchori / Charchari by cooking a mix of other vegetables with it.

I have not tried this shaak as a Chorchori yet ... but I do often fry some Bori / Vadi / Mungaudi in a little oil, crush them and add them to this fry.
Tastes great!

This stir fry of the Lal Shaak / Red Spinach / Amaranth leaves is a favourite at home. Made very simply, it is just the garlic that gives a flavour that goes so well with the distinct flavour of these leaves.

If you don't like garlic, you can try this with a tempering of kalaunji / nigella seeds and dry red chillies or fresh green chillies.

Need :

Laal Shaak / Red Spinach / Amaranth leaves - 1 bunch, cleaned and chopped
Cooking oil - 1 tbsp ( I use Mustard oil )
Whole dry red chillies - 2
Garlic cloves - 5, crushed
Salt - to taste

How to :

Heat oil in a wok / kadahi.

Add the whole red chillies ( break them first or they might burst ) and the crushed garlic.

Fry a little and then add the chopped leaves.

Stir well.

Add salt, cover and cook. Remember to stir once in a while so that it does not burn.

When it is done and all water had dried up, remove cover and give a final stir.

Serve hot. Goes best on the side with hot rice and dal.

TC all !! :-)


  1. Can imagine how lovely this will taste with shada bhaath. The dry red chillies are a great touch

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, i was searching for laal shaak recipe made in bengali style, i had once eaten in one of my friends home and fell in love with it! I will def give it a try using nigella seeds, thanks once again!

  3. Yes, simply the best. Can never replicate with spinach because that is what we get here throughout the year.

  4. Sharmila,
    laal shaak ,kalo jeere(onion seeds/kalaunji) +shokno lonka phoron diye khete besh bhalo lagey ..simple kinto koto je susadho khabaar ,seya bola jaye na :)..

    hugs and smiles

  5. Lovely spinach stirfry...thanks for sharing this recipe..wanted to make it since a while now..

  6. My fav dish..Looks healthy and yummy...

  7. Jaya'r moton amar o kalo jeera/kancha lanka diye kori. lal shaak kei amaranth bole jantam na

  8. Yum...the simplest recipes are usually my favorites. I have been cooking more leafy greens recently and my basic recipe is very similar to this one. Love that you used amaranth-- not sure I can find it here, though, but maybe swiss chard might work?
    BTW, I noticed you changed your profile picture-- lovely hair!

  9. Nice post Sharmila. I cook spinach with jing + mustard seeds + red chilli tadka. I miss the variety of shaak you get in Calcutta. Here it is always spinach.

    You've changed your pic on the blog! Nice :-)

  10. Thanks for this lovely recipe. I was one of the people searching for red spinach on your site :-))))

  11. shudhu lomba lomba shundor shundor chul dekhale cholbe naa...cholbe naa!! :-)

    aami kono din khai nii laal shak bhaja taai khete kemon jaani naa, tobe tor recipe ta pode mone hochhe chotpot banaate hobe!! kintu ekhaane kii pawa jaabe?

  12. IS Amaranth, Swiss chad? It looks like it to me.

  13. Sounds like a winner. I love leafy vegetables and your dish looks good

  14. Thanks Kalyan! :-)

    Thanks Parita! Do give it a try. :-)

    Thanks ISG! Interestingly, we do fry the spinach the same way ... so maybe you can give it a try( but you might have to add a pinch of sugar to it to mellow it down. :-)

    Thanks Jaya! Very true. :-)

    Thanks A2Z! I still cannot enter your site. :-)

    Thanks Tina! :-)

    Thanks Sandeepa! Ami joto dur jani this variety is called Amaranth ... that means the green ones are also called amaranth. :-)

    Thanks Vaishali! Yes, the swiss chard will come close. Amd thanks for the compliment. :-)

    Thanks Vaishnavi! Yes, I do miss them too. Here too we get only around 3 to 4 varieties only. :-)

    Thanks Shampa! Hope you try it. :-)

    Thanks Joyee! Ranna kore o toh post korchi ... ar ki korte hobe bolo. ;-)

    Thanks Srimathi! No it is not ... but looks very similar. Can't say if they taste the same as I have never had swiss chard.

    Thanks Nostalgia! :-)

  15. hey Sharmila ...evenI have googled for laal shaak recipes many a time s :) I'd love to try the bong way :)never tried using garlic..and not made it with mustard oil.

  16. Nice recipe ... when mixed with rice the plain rice takes its red kids love it.Healthy and yummy.
    Sharmila,thanks for visiting me,how lucky i am to have found you,you are in my blogroll.

  17. Sharmila, O ma miss kore gechilam...bhaat aar laal shaak khete icche korche...tomarta dekhe
    Aami tomar moto shuko lanka phoron diya ranna kori, garlic bhalo lagena.
    Simple kintu ki tasty khete. My sons love this shaak for its red colour...amarnath bole jantam na.
    Dekho kemon information ta dile.


  18. Wow - you made a simple saag look so beautiful...We make it at home (Orissa) all the time...
    Sorry I have been very busy. Will be back next week.

  19. Perfect recipe for family would love this :-)

  20. laal shak amar-o bhisan priyo...ami o kalo jeere aar shukno lanka diye kari, ekbar garlic diye try kare dekhbo tomar r gr8

  21. Lovely greens,looks a lot like the chard available here :D

  22. My Mum used to force me to eat Laal Shaak. And I hated it then.

    Now I crave for it. Ekhane Toronto te kono din dekhte payi nee. Not even in the Bangladeshi store I frequent.

    Loved your recipe. Brought back so many memories.

  23. Thanks Suparna! Mustard oil is the main medium of Bengali cooking ... you can use any other oil too. Hope you will try it. :-)

    Thanks Kavita! :-)

    Thanks Gouri! :-)

    Thanks Somoo! Back home I used to love it with pokhalo. :-)

    Thanks Gulmohar! :-)

    Thanks Indrani! Amar garlic khub bhalo lage, tai kalo jeere o dei na. :-)

    Thanks Yasmeen! :-)

    Thanks PreeOccupied! Etar ekta green variety o ache ... maybe you'll get that. :-)

  24. gorom bhaate lal shaak bhaja.. nothing like it! amio shukno lonka diye kori.

  25. Simply the best, I wish we got these greens here. I am tired of seeing spinach all the time.

  26. I agree with you RC, never get those here. Healthy delight !!

  27. I just recently discovered you site and over the last weekend tried the lal shaak recipe b/c the Indian store in town had what they marked as "amaranth leaves" in the produce section. well, it was not the red version but still turned out quite good. I think i was too stingy on the garlic - next time will up it a bit. since it is harder to get Indian greens in the boonies, will try this recipe with red chard next and see how it applies. thanks a lot for taking the time for the blog. -Samia

  28. Thanks all! :-)

    Samia ... glad you liked it. The quantity of garlic depends on how much garlic a person likes. Am sure the chard will be good with this tempering too as I also make spinach this way. Thank for letting me know. :-)

  29. turns out i was the first to comment on this :) bought laal shaak yesterday so hope to use this recipe today

  30. Hope you'll like it Kalyan. :-)

  31. I have just bought bulls blood leaf today which appears to be very similar, my mother from Kolkata cooks it with
    panch phoron and postho and a little green beans and potato...going to try it tomorrow!


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