Gaaahh!!! I didn’t know Rajgira and Amaranth both are same. Amaranth is an English name of Rajgira in Hindi and Rajgaro in Gujarati. After some googling I found pages and pages of information. The name amaranth comes from the ancient Greek meaning ‘deathless’, literally meaning ‘amara=deathless’ in Sanskrit language. It was said that this plant promoted a very long life. In Hindi, rajgira or rajgaro is meaning raj= royal, gira= grain. A royal grain!
Raab is Gujarati name of sweet soup, kind of malt, a thick soup consistency. It’s made from a little ghee, flour and jaggery water, with adding some dry spice powders in end.
Rajgira/Rajgaro flour aka Amaranth flour
There are two main types: green amaranth and red amaranth. It’s a plant with a tiny seeds, they look like seeds but they are fruits, actually. Rajgira is used widely in India, a non-cereal on fasting days and festivals. It’s low-fat grain and loaded with all nutrition. A good source of dietary fibre and minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese.
I grew up eating several varieties made from rajgira. It’s very common and staple ingredient in our (all Gujarati) home. In season, my mom would grind fresh flour from amaranth seeds at home only. Our many fasting dishes like Rajgira sheera/shira (kind of halwa), vada, puri, kadhi and many fasting items incorporate with gluten-free rajgira flour. My great grandma used to make very delicious spicy vada from it that we never could reach the level that my father always seek his dadi’s (grandma) taste in our version. He always says no one can replicate my granny’s vada :-(
If you’re recovering from ill-health, this is an excellent soup. Of course, you can sip it even you are perfectly healthy. A dash of ghee, jaggery, flour and some spices can revive you instantly. In chilly cold days, a bowl of raab/soup is blessing, at least to me! The husband is not a fan of it. :-( I whip up instantly if my body and mind crave for some soothing warm soup. You should try it and give your kids.
*Don’t skip any spice powder. It adds an extra taste and make this soup delicious. Or you will find it bland. Or use homemade or store-bought Indian chai masala powder.
**You most likely find this flour and all ingredients at your local Indian grocery store.
- about 2 tbsp ghee
- 2 heaped tbsp rajgira/rajgaro in Gujarati/ amaranth flour
- about 4-5 tbsp heaped, or to taste jaggery
- 2.5 cups water
- adjust according to taste – ⅛ tsp ganthoda powder + ⅛ soonth powder OR simply use 1 tsp chai masala powder
- In a medium saucepan bring the water+jaggery to boil.
- When your jaggery water starts to boil slowly, in mean time heat ghee (lowest heat) in thick sauce pan and add into rajgira flour. Roast with a spoon. Roast continuously on lowest heat till the rajgira flour releases its smell and flour is turned into slight pink.
- Be careful not to burn the flour while roasting. Keep an eye and all attention here. If your flour is roasted well switch off the flame.
- Now your jaggery water should be rolling boiled. Strain the water into a Pyrex jug or something to leave the impurities out from jaggery.
- Now it’s time to pour in flour. Bring the flour mixture on heat again and pour the jaggery water, very carefully. At the same time, stir continuously the mixture with other hand to prevent any lumps in there. A long-handled spoon or wire whisk works well.
- Now, stir in gnathoda powder + soonth powder OR chai masala powder. Simmer the raab up to 2-3 minutes more. You’ll see your raab is thickening now. Serve warm in a soup bowl. Your kiddo will love it!