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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Summer Special – Healthy Green Plantain Raita


Summer months are for eating light and healthy. Yogurt based dishes especially raitas are cooling and nutritious too. I often make a big bowl at lunch and pair it with simple zeera rice or mixed grain roti & sabzi. Green plantain is cooked like potatoes and used in many recipes as it can not be eaten raw. One can make cips, kebabas, koftas, stir fry, raita and various types of curried or dry vegetable dishes from it. These are nutritious and rich in dietary fiber among other things.Packed with carbohydrates, Vitamin A (more than ripe banana), B Vitamins esp B6, potassium, iron, magnesium these are a good choice to add to your meals.  Raw Onion gives this raita a little crunch and it is good to eat raw onion during summer as it has a cooling effect on the body.

To make this cooling raita you will need :

Ingredients :

Raw green plantains – 2 Medium size

Onion – 1 medium (Optional)

 

Green chili – 1

Grated Ginger – 1 inch

Salt = to taste

Red Chili Powder – (For garnish)

Roasted Cumin Powder ) For garnish

Curd / yogurt – 1 cup whipped

For tempering :

Curry Leaves – 1 sprig 5-6 tender leaves)

Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Red whole chili – 1/2

Asafoetida – 2 pinches ( optional but it gives a nice flavor)

Oil – 1/2 teaspoon

Steps – 

Wash and steam or boil green plantains in steamer or pressure cooker. Three whistles are enough but it depends on the size of banana.

Take out , peel the skin and roughly mash the plantain. Some people mash it smooth but I love small soft chunks in the raita.

In a bowl whip the curd till smooth. Add salt to taste.

Add the mashed plantain, grated ginger and chopped onion. Mix well. Raw onion is good to eat in hot summer days.

You can add a little roasted cumin powder and red chili powder too.

Add fresh coriander leaves and mix.

To prepare the tempering :

Take a seasoning pan and put it on low flame. Add oil and when it warms up add mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the seeds start to crackle add curry leaves and red whole chili and chopped green chili. Don’t let the seasoning burn.

Pour it over the raita.

Serve chilled with rice or roti.

Some recipes call for chana dal and / or washed urad daal in tempering. I have not used them here but they do enhance the flavor. Use 1/2 teaspoon of each if desired.