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Top view of a pan with amaranth greens dal

Thotakura Pappu (Amaranth leaves dal)

Totakura pappu is a comforting and hearty Andhra style dal. This recipe is made with fresh amaranth leaves and toor dal. Serve with rice and roti.
Author: Pavani
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Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: andhra
Servings: 4 servings


  • ½ cup Toor dal
  • cups Water, plus more if needed
  • 2 teaspoons Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1~2 Dry red chili, broken
  • 8 Curry leaves
  • 1~2 Garlic cloves, finely minced (optional)
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes, chopped
  • 2~3 Green chilies, slit
  • 1 tablespoon Tamarind paste*
  • To taste Salt


  • Combine toor dal and water. Cook until very soft and mushy. I cook them in an Instant Pot for 8 minutes on High Pressure/ manual. You can cook in a stove top pressure cooker for 3~4 whistles or in a saucepan for about 30 minutes. Once done, set aside until ready to use.
  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat. When hot, add oil, mustard & Cumin seeds, dry red chili and cook till the seeds start to splutter. Add the curry leaves, garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add onions, green chilies and cook until onions start to turn translucent, about 3~4 minutes. Stir in chopped amaranth greens, cover and cook until they wilt and cooked through, about 4~5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, tamarind paste and salt, cook for another 5 minutes or until tomatoes turn mushy. Stir in cooked lentils and ½~1 cup of water (depending on the desired consistency) and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes.


  • Masoor or red lentils and moong dal are a great substitute for toor dal in this recipe.
  • You can cook in a stove top pressure cooker for 3~4 whistles or in a saucepan for about 30 minutes.
  • The same recipe can be made with spinach or swiss chard or even kale.
  • Lemon juice can be used instead of tamarind. You can simply omit them as well.
  • Leftover dal can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months.


Calories: 98kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 261mg | Potassium: 327mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 288IU | Vitamin C: 53mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 2mg
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