Bathua Raita : Eating your Greens
I love my greens, in every way. Mixed in dals, in salads, in paranthas as saags and in raitas. Actually specially in raitas. Bathua scientific name, Chenopodium album __and commonly known asLamb's Quarters in English. It is also known as pigweed, goosefoot, and wild spinach. It is a very popular green grown in the north of India, especially Punjab and you will have a true Punjabi often tell you that Sarsoon ka saag is not a sarsoon ka saag without bathua in it.
Another thing which is made very commonly with bathua is the bathua raita, I have found memories of the raita while growing up. Unfortunately the leaves are not so commonly available in Bangalore, so the green vanished from my life for a while. However suddenly again from the past two years I see things changing, may be it's the vast north population moving to Bangalore I have to thank or may be its just that everyone wants to eat newer and newer things. Whatever it is, it works for me since I am getting my beloved leaf.
The first thing I did with the leaf when I got it (actually the second, since I used it while making saag first like any proud punjabi) was to make the Bathua raita. Easy but super yummy.
Source - Family Recipe
- Blanch the bathua leaves in boiling water for about 3-4 minutes.
- Drain and put in chilled water immediately so that it stops cooking further, this also keeps the leaves bright and green.
- Using the hand blender give the leaves a quick blend, don't make a paste out of it though.
- Whisk the curd well and keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a small pan and add hing to it, after a minute add mustard and jeera seeds. Once they start to crackle, add the green chillies and fry for a minute.
- Add bathua and salt to the whisked curd and top with the tadka.
- Served chilled, I like making it and serving after an hour, the flavours blend beautifully in that time.
Some other things one can make with bathua is bhaji, stuffed paranthas, aloo bathua, bathua dal. Just about anything you do with your other greens can be done with this too. I had once eaten a bathua stuffed pie at Olive and it was OMG yummy.
PS: Read a fabulous piece on bathua by Chef Manu Chandra here