Thotakura Ava Pettina Pulusu (Stew with Amaranth Leaves and Mustard Paste)

Thotakura Ava Pettina Pulusu
Thotakura Ava Pettina Pulusu

Thotakura (Amaranth or Maath) is absolutely one of my favourite leafy vegetables. It is very versatile and can be cooked in so many different ways to make a variety of curries and stews. For example, you could make Thotakura Vepudu, a simple stir-fry, or then Thotakura Pappu, a dal.

Today, I am writing about Thotakura Ava Pettina Pulusu, a stew.

Ava Pettadam is a classic Andhra technique that uses a paste of mustard seeds and rice as flavouring. It adds a zing to otherwise bland dishes. We use this technique to spice up a variety of dishes including curries and stews.

Serves: 4

Soaking Time: 1 Hour

Cooking Time: 30 Mins


  1. Thotakura, Maath, or Amaranth Leaves – 3 Cups Packed
  2. Anapakaya, Lauki, or Bottle Gourd – 100 gms
  3. Avalu, Rai or Mustard Seeds – 2.5 tsp
  4. Biyyam, Chawal, or Raw Rice – 1 tbsp
  5. Rice Flour – 1 tsp (optional)
  6. Red Chillies – 3
  7. Tamarind Pulp – 1 tbsp
  8. Turmeric – 2 Large Pinches
  9. Oil – 1 tsp
  10. Salt to Taste

To Make the Mustard Paste (Ava)

  1. In a small bowl, soak 1.5 tsp mustard seeds with 1 tbsp raw rice in about 3 tbsp water for about 1 hour.
  2. Drain the water.
  3. Grind the soaked mustard and rice with 1 red chilli to a smooth paste. Add a little water, if required.
  4. Set aside.

To Make the Thotakura Pulusu

  1. Chop Thotakura into fine pieces.
  2. Peel and cut the Aapakaya into 1/2″ cubes.
  3. In a large vessel, mix Thotakura and Anapakaya.
  4. Add enough water to cover the Thotakura and Anapakaya.
  5. Pressure cook for 3 whistles.
  6. In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat the oil.
  7. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  8. Add 2 split red chillies and fry for a few seconds.
  9. Add the tamarind pulp, turmeric powder, and 1/4 cup water.
  10. Bring to a boil.
  11. Add cooked Thotakura and Anapakaya along with the water they were cooked in.
  12. Mix well.
  13. Add the mustard-rice paste and salt.
  14. Mix well.
  15. Mix 1 tsp rice flour in 1/4 cup water. Ensure there are no lumps.
  16. Add to the thotakura pulusu.
  17. Bring to a boil.
  18. Turn off the heat and let rest for 15 minutes.
  19. Serve warm with hot rice or as a side dish to Mudda Pappu Annam.


  • I like the thotakura pulusu to be thick and so I add the rice flour. If you prefer it watery, omit the rice flour.
Thotakura Ava Pettina Pulusu
Thotakura Ava Pettina Pulusu


I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.