Amaranth (datashak) herbaceous plants of the genus Amaranthus, family Amaranthaceae, native to the India or Indo-Chinese region. The tender leaves and stems, rich in vitamins A and C, calcium and iron, are considered as vegetable. Two predominant types are grown; the leafy type can be cultivated throughout the year but its production is high during winter months. The stem type is a vegetable primarily of the summer.
Plants are grown from local varieties. Two important varieties of leafy type are Altapeti and (BARI) Lal-xak-1. The varieties of stem amaranth include Baxpata, Katua, Surexsuri and Amoni. Depending on the variety the yield goes up to about 15 m tons/ha.
The tender leaves are fried and stems are generally cooked with fish or other vegetables. [SM Mowar Hossain]
See also vegetable.