|Common Name :||Elephant Head Amaranth|
|Bengali Name :||Laal Shak(লাল শাক), Data Shak(ডাঁটা শাক), Danga(ডাঙ্গা).|
|Botanical Name :||Amaranthus gangeticus|
Worldwide this is known as a flowering plant, but in our country Bangladesh(বাংলাদেশ), this is a very popular vegetable. There are several vegetables(লাল শাক, ডাঁটা শাক, ডাঙ্গা) available but all are under the same botanical name Amaranthus gangeticus. This belongs to the plant family Amaranthaceae. We cultivate this commercially to fulfill the needs of vegetarians.
This is a fast growing annual herb plant can grow up to 2-3 ft in height. Color of the leaf can be deep purple or green, or having both(that case purple is at the center of the leaf). Flowers are in a cluster and small flowers from that cluster are having yellow/cream color filaments. Seeds are very small, round shaped but slight flat, and black in color.
We use to fry this vegetable to eat with rice(it makes the rice red in color). This is very popular in our country. Other people around the world use this as salad. This vegetable contains very high amount of Vitamin A and Iron. From ancient history, apart from vegetable uses it is found that the Aztecs used to produce flour from it's seed.
Photos of this article were taken from Pabna(পাবনা) during September 2012.