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.
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
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.