Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bathua or Chenopodium greens, health benefits and recipes of bathua raita and bathua kadhi

Bathua is a winter leafy green called Chenopodium album and is so rich in calcium and iron that it leaves the spinach far behind in this regard. If you compare the calcium, phosphorus and iron contents per 100 gm, spinach has 73 mg of Ca, 21 mg of Ph, and 1 mg of Iron in it while bathua leaves have 800 mg of Ca, 50 mg of Ph, and 22 mg of Iron in it. Not only this, it is much more tastier than spinach and can be used in many ways to get a nutrient boost.


One thing which is very important while consuming these Calcium and Iron rich super foods is that, to absorb all the mineral in it we have to eat them in combination with tomatoes, lime or curds.

Interestingly, bathua is considered warming for the body in winters and keeps the digestive tract healthy by promoting useful gut flora. More because this pre-biotic leafy green is mostly eaten along with homemade yogurt in north India. The fiber content, the antioxidant rich pigments in the leaves and the rich mineral profile of this leafy green keeps the GI tract working right and helps fight inflammation as well.

This recipe has a story behind it. Bathua raita was a personal favorite and my husband Arvind also liked it when I started making it after marriage, so in winters it was prepared frequently with parathas or with rice preparations. As I like curds in all it's forms, I would cook kadhi quite often but Arvind had a major aversion to kadhi. I decided to try a twist in the bathua raita one day and converted it to a kadhi. The bathua ki kadhi was made without the use of turmeric so it looked more like a raita. Arvind ate it happily and helped himself 2-3 time during the meal. I silently felt happy on my clever twist that day and since then this bathua ki kadhi has been a regular in my kitchen.

It has been a favourite along with my multi grain chapatis as well.


ingredients for bathua raita

bathua leaves with all it's stalk chopped and microwaved 1 cup
green chillies finely chopped 1 tbsp
garlic cloves chopped 1 tbsp or more
whole jeera seeds 1 tsp
black pepper powder 1 tsp
hing or asafoetida a pinch
mustard or any other oil 1 tsp
curds 2-3 cup as you like
salt to taste


preparation

Heat oil in a pan and put in the hing and jeera to it and when it starts spluttering, add in the chopped garlic and green chillies, let it fry a little and then add the bathua leaves and salt and cook covered for 5 minutes.......let it cool and mix with the beaten curd and pepper powder and serve at room temperature.

procedure for bathua ki kadhi



The only additional thing needed for making it's kadhi is gram flour or besan (2 tbsp) and buttermilk instead of curds, though beaten curd is also fine.

While cooking the bathua leaves as above, I use whole red chilies instead of green chillies for the kadhi, meanwhile whip the curd with besan and 1 cup of water and cook on low flame.........stirring all the time to avoid lumping.............after cooking this mixture for 10 minutes or so, add the cooked bathua leaves and give it a good boil.......it is ready to serve.

As an optional tadka heat 1 tsp ghee, add 1 tsp minced garlic, little red chilly powder in it and quickly put it into the kadhi and serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sangeeta,
    checked out your blogs too now...you have done a great job...admire everything you do...my husband loves bathua so much but somehow I was not able to get it here till now :-(...keep going..

    ReplyDelete