I trialled over 50 different amaranths here about 15-20 years ago, hoping to find one that was early enough to produce seed in our short cold summer. The search was unsuccessful…but this was my favourite edimental variety, introducing Elephant Head!
In 2008 I still had a greenhouse. After it was destroyed in the 26th December 2011 I decided not to rebuild it and to only grow hardy vegetables. However, in 2008, I grew a number of less hardy vegetables including several from the Andes mountains. One of these was Achocha (Cyclanthera pedata), although yields of fruits wasn’t very big (I grew it for several years from 2002-2012) and I would have probably been better off eating the shoots and leaves which are also edible and pretty good! Interestingly, my Nepalese guests (see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=6118) told me it was commonly grown in Nepal and they not only used the small green fruits, but the top shoots and the black seeds. The latter are roasted, ground and mixed with salt, chili and perhaps lemon. The powder is also used as a flavouring in chutney!
Picture: Achocha “Fat Baby” fruits
Pictures : Various Andean vegetables in my garden on 12th July Quinoa, Yellow Finn, Ulluco#1, Shetland Blue Eye; Achocha Fat Baby, Amaranth, Russepotet, Oca, Blå Congo, Ulluco#2, Mashua