Tambdi Bhaji Recipe, An Amaranth Dish From Goa's Veg Delights

When people think of Goan cuisine, their taste buds instantly tango with the thought of succulent prawns, tantalising fish curries, and spicy sausages. It's as if the vegetarians of Goa have been stealthily practising their disappearing acts, because the vegetarian side of Goan cuisine often goes unnoticed, hidden in the shadows of its meaty counterparts. But little do people know that Goa's vegetarian delights are a force to be reckoned with such as Goan Tambdi Bhaji. 

Also known as Red Amaranth Curry, this is a delicious and nutritious dish that hails from the coastal state and is a popular traditional recipe that showcases the vibrant and versatile red amaranth leaves, which are the star ingredient of this dish.

Red amaranth, scientifically known as Amaranthus dubius, is an ancient leafy vegetable that has been consumed for centuries. The plant is known for its attractive red-hued leaves, which are packed with a range of health benefits. It’s rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium. It is also a good source of dietary fibre, antioxidants, and protein. The vibrant red colour of the leaves is due to the presence of pigments called betalains, which have been associated with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

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In Goan cuisine, Tambdi Bhaji is typically prepared by sautéing red amaranth leaves with mustard seeds, garlic, and spices like turmeric and red chilli powder. Sometimes, grated coconut is added to enhance the flavour and texture of the dish. It is often served with rice or bread and makes for a wholesome and nutritious meal.


  • 2 bunches of red amaranth leaves (tambdi bhaji), washed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, slit lengthwise (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder (adjust to spice preference)
  • Salt to taste
  • Grated coconut for garnish (optional)


  • Heat oil in a pan or kadai over medium heat.
  • Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add the chopped garlic and sauté until it turns golden brown.
  • Add the chopped onion and green chilli, and sauté until the onion becomes translucent.
  • Add the turmeric powder and red chilli powder, and mix well.
  • Add the chopped red amaranth leaves to the pan and mix everything together.
  • Cover the pan and let the leaves cook on low heat for about 5-7 minutes or until they wilt down.
  • Remove the lid, add salt to taste, and give it a good stir.
  • Cook for another 2-3 minutes, allowing any excess moisture to evaporate.
  • Once cooked, remove from heat and transfer the Tambdi Bhaji to a serving dish.
  • Garnish with grated coconut if desired.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice or bread.