Bathua (Lambsquarter) Raita (Yoghurt)
Bathua or Lamb's-quarter/Goose-foot/Fat-hen (Chenopodium album) is a summer weed in UK, I am able to pick it in my garden every summer. In India, it is a popular leaf vegetable, grown and sold during the winter months. It is cooked like spinach. It can be mixed with chicken and meat to make a saag dish, with new potatoes to make a lovely Alu-Saag, with yoghurt to make a delicious raita and to the dough to make delicious Roties or parathas and poories.
Bathua has medicinal uses in some skin conditions and its oil is used to treat hook worms. It is said to be high in vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, trace minerals, iron and fibre. Do not use it from beds where insecticides or leaf fertilisers have been used.
Serves 4-6 as part of an Indian meal
Edited and new pictures added July 2018
1 1/2 cup thick yoghurt
1 good handful or two of bathua leaves
1 tsp. roasted cumin seeds* (jeera), coarsely ground
Salt to taste. You can use Kala Namak> or black salt, as shown in the picture
Red chilli powder to taste
You can add 1-2 chopped green chillies. In this case , reduce red chillies
*Dry fry/roast cumin seeds on a frying pan or wok, without using oil.
Boil bathua or steam in a microwave steamer for 4 minutes, as shown in pictures.
Cool and mash with fingers. you can blend it, but it's leafy texture looks and tastes better. That last picture shows raita made with blended bathua leaves.
Beat the yoghurt with a fork.
Add salt, chilli and ground cumin to yoghurt and mix.
Add bathua and mix well. If it is too thick add a little milk and mix it again.
Sprinkle a little cumin and chilli on top, as a garnish.
Also see Raita Selection.