Bathua (Lambsquarter) Dough Roti or Paratha
Bathua Rotii Or Paratha
Lamb's Quarter (Chenopodium album) grows wild in the fields in UK. In India, it is grown and eaten as a leaf vegetable and sold in vegetables shops. It is used for making vegetable curries, yoghurt raita, parathas and poories. Freshly cooked, crisp bathua roties are delicious! If you pick bathua yourself, make sure that you can identify the plant properly.
Bathua is well recognised in Indian herbal medicines; it is used for the treatment of intestinal worms, leucoderma, anorexia, helmintic infections, as a diuretic, aphrodisiac and a tonic, to name a few. But please do not try it for treatment, without expert Ayurvedic advise.
This dough also be used to make parathas. Makes 10-12.
Edited March 2018
3 1/2 cups (approximately 500 gm.) chapatti flour (keep a little aside on a plate, to use for dusting)
1 bunch/large cup fresh bathua leaves
A little flour for dusting.
Enough water to make dough.
1/4 cup of oil
Clean bathua leaves, removing any damaged leaves and hard stalks.
Blanch in boiling water or microwave cook on full power for 5 minutes .
Drain cooked bathua leaves in a colander, allow to cool and mash roughly (not finely).
Place flour and bathua leaves in a bowl. Add enough water, a little at a time, to make a soft to firm..ish dough. If you are new to making roties, it is better to have a firmish dough, which is easier to control while rolling out. Experienced Indian cooks prefer softer dough, which make softer roties.
Knead well for 5-6 minutes. Do not use food processor for making this dough or it will grind the bathua leaves too fine and you will loose the texture.
Leave to stand for 10 minutes or so. Knead briefly again.
Rolling out and cooking chapatties:
Break dough into 10-12 portions and roll them into balls, using a little dry flour to dust. Keep them covered with a moist cloth. You can make one ball at a time, while the next chapatti is cooking.
Heat a griddle or tawa to medium hot.
Dip one ball in dry flour and roll it out into a pancake like circle. Dipping the ball in dusting flour from time to time, on both sides, during the rolling out process, stops it from sticking. It should be rolled from centere
Put the roti on the hot griddle/tava. Turn it over when it changes colour to semi-translucent and you can see a few blisters on the under surface.
Cook the other side same way and turn over again.
Next step can be done either on a direct flame or under a grill. To cook on a flame, pick the chapatti with tongs, flip over and place directly on a medium flame, it will balloon up. Move it around continuously, or it will burn.
Cook on the other side the same way, moving it from side to side. It should be cooked evenly all over.
If you are new to it, it is easier to cook it under a hot grill. Place the chapatti under a pre-heated grill after step 13, instead of putting it on the flame. Turn it over when it balloons up or gets brown blisters all over. Cook the other side.
Serve hot and with a thin film of ghee or butter, with curries, raita and dal.
Rolling out and cooking Bathua paratha
Break dough into 10-12 portions (size is your own choice) and roll them into balls, using a little dry flour to dust. Keep covered with a moist cloth.
Dust one ball with dry flour and roll it out to approximately 7 cm. or 3 inches diameter.
Place 1/8 tsp. (a few drops) of oil in the centre of the circle, pull the edges in and seal it in the centre. Now you have a ball again.
Heat a griddle or tava. Lightly oil its surface.
Roll out the ball into a 6-7 inches or 16-18 cm. circle. It should be rolled from centre outwards so that the edges are thinner than the centre. You may need to dip it in dusting flour on both sides a couple of time during this process. Parathas should not be too thin, approximately 2-3 mm. thick, as very thin ones do not have a 'bite'. This, however, is your personal choice, some people prefer paper thin parathas.
Put the paratha on the hot griddle/tava.
Turn it over when it becomes less opaque and you can see a few blisters on the under surface.
Cook the other side the same way and turn over again.
Brush a little oil on both surfaces, one by one. This can be done with the back of a long handled ladle or a soup spoon.
Press paratha gently all over with a flat spatula. If you see any steam escaping, seal it by pressing it gently, making it balloon up.
Cook this way until nicely browned on both sides.
Serve hot. Parathas can be eaten cold and are one of the most popular item in a north Indian packed lunch.