Bathua Raita |Chenopodium album Yogurt Dip


Bathua or bathu as some call it is one of my favorite winter greens. I can’t digest spinach so it has been a constant source of high level of iron for me among other things. It is also a rich source of calcium, phosphorous, dietary fibers, amino acids, B complex, Vitamin A and C etc. Usually to absorb all the nutrients it has to be eaten with curds, lemon juice or tomatoes. It keeps the gut healthy, has numerous health benefits and is delicious too. Bathua is also known as Lamb’s Quarters. pigweed, Goosefoot etc.

I use this wonderful, versatile green in stir-fry, as stuffing in parathas, in dals, raita, fritters, kadhi etc. Sarson ka saag is incomplete without adding bathua to it. It is a game changer in that dish. You can even make a simple pesto with it.

Bathua raita is cooling though bathua in itself is considered warming in winter. The beautiful flavor of garlic, green chili,  roasted cumin and bathua make for a delicious raita with cheelas, multigrain rotis, makki or any millet roti.

Here is a simple yet delicious recipe for the raita.

 

Ingredients : 

Bathua greens ( cleaned, washed, stalks removed and chopped) – 1 Cup

Garlic cloves, finely chopped –  1 tbsp

Green chili, finely chopped – 1 tsp

Roasted cumin powder – 1 tbsp

Red chili powder – 1/4 tsp

Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp

Whole coriander seeds – 1/4 tsp

Hing / Asafoetida – 2-3 pinches

Curds (Home cultured) – 2-3 cups

Salt – as per taste

Oil – 1/4 tsp

 

Steps : 

I prefer home cultured curds. Whisk the curds in a bowl so that there are no lumps. Add the powdered spices and salt. Mix well.

Boil the chopped bathua with a little salt and very little water till it becomes soft.

Cool the bathua and rub it with your fingers or grind on the silbatta. ( some people blend it in the mixer but I prefer the coarse leafy texture in the raita)

In a tempering pan  heat a little ghee or mustard oil if you prefer that, add hing, cumin seeds, whole coriander seeds, when the seeds sputter turn of the heat and add chopped green chili ( I use those that are slightly going red), chopped garlic. Stir and pour over the raita.

Decorate with spice powders and serve chilled with parathas, cheelas, multi-grain rotis  etc or just eat a bowlful as it is.

 

 

 

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Healthy Stuffed Fat Green Chili Peppers -Recipe


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During the lazy days of summer and the rainy days of monsoon one thing that always accompanies the main course in my home are these healthy sumptuous stuffed green chili peppers.  Full of goodness of  Calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate 0r Folic acid, capsaicin, antioxidants , Iron, Vitamin B5-6  and other useful vitamins & minerals these fiery little green chili peppers make a tasty bite with almost anything. The spices add to the benefits as well as to the taste.

As my parents came from two different cultures we always had a perfect blend of food from Maharashtra / Konkan and Uttar Pradesh.  All of us love experimenting with various cuisines, ingredients and spice combinations.

This is my mother’s recipe for stuffed green chili pepper perfected in our kitchen. Summer is incomplete without the fresh green coriander  mint chutney & stuffed green chilies and  their variations.

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So here are the Ingredients :

200 gms. – fat green chili peppers

1/4 teaspoon – mustard seeds

1 heaped teaspoon – Saunf (fennel seeds)

3 heaped teaspoon – coriander powder

1 teaspoon – haldi ( turmeric powder)

1 teaspoon – amchur powder (dry mango powder)

1/4 teaspoon – kalaunji ( onion seeds)

Salt to taste and a teaspoon of oil to shallow fry the chilies.

A pinch of red chili powder if you want to add more fire to it.

 

Method :

The Filling  :

Powder the fennel seeds and onion seeds coarsely.

In a shallow bowl mix all these ingredients. Use only half of the powdered fennel seeds.

Make a hollow in the mixture and pour the refined oil (I sometimes use olive oil) in it.

Thoroughly mix and make a crumbly mixture using your fingers.

Cover and keep aside.

 

The Fat Green Chilies :

Pick chilies which are light green and not bruised at any place. Try to choose all chilies of similar size.

Wash them clean and place them on a cloth to air dry. Wipe them with a clean cloth after a while.

Slit each chili lengthwise in the center. You can either cut the stem or leave it.  Remove the seeds or let them be as I do.

Now it is time to fill the stuffing. Make sure you don’t over fill it.

Heat a little oil in a shallow wok  (kadhai) and when it is hot  lower the flame and add  a little mustard seeds and hing (asafoetida)

Immediately add the stuffed chilies and stir so that the fennel seeds don’t burn.

Turn them over a couple of times and cover over low flame.

The spicy tasty lite bite will be ready in five minutes.

Remove from heat and take the stuffed chillies out in a dish. Sprinkle some fennel seed powder as garnish.

Serve as an accompaniment with Parathas, rice, poories or roties.

 

Variations :

1. Instead of kalaunji and amchur add 1 teaspoon of thick tamarind pulp + 1 teaspoon of fine sugar.

2. Do not add Kalounji instead add lightly roasted besan (gram flour) in the final mixture. You may add a sprinkle of buttermilk too in this mixture.

3. You can vary ingredients but make sure not to brown the chilies and keep the oil to a minimum. For stuffing you can use potatoes, mashrooms, cottage cheese, mince meat or any other thing you can dream of but this tangy spicy pickle bite will always stay at the top most favorite.

 

Spice it up and enjoy your meal.