Bathua Ka Raita

15 Dec

Green Raita - Bathua Raita

Roadside vendors around me are selling mounds of lush green bathua leaves…yes, winter has truly arrived. Bathua is in season for only a short while each year, and when it is, it is abundant and inexpensive. Make the most of it while it lasts – and if this wonder vegetable is new to you, kick off your acquaintance by making this popular north Indian side dish: bathua ka raita.

Bathua is like a tougher, trickier cousin of spinach. It doesn’t really work when had raw (spinach, in contrast, does), but tame it with boiling and blend it with dahi – it then shapes up beautifully as bathua ka raita.

Bathua ka Raita

You Need:

  • Bathua leaves – 250 grams
  • Green chilies – 1 (more if you want it hotter)
  • Plain yogurt – 3 cups
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon + more to taste
  • Kala namak (Himalayan black salt) –1/4 teaspoon or to taste
  • Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon

How To Make Bathua Ka Raita:

1. Boil the bathua leaves

Bathua Leaves

Pluck and discard the tough stems from the bathua.

Wash the leaves well. Chop roughly.

Bring a cup of water to a boil. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the water. When the water starts bubbling, add chopped bathua leaves to the water.

Boil the bathua leaves for 7-8 minutes on low heat.

Bathua Leaves, Boiling

Let the boiled bathua leaves cool to room temperature. Drain away excess water.

2. Grind and whip

Place the boiled bathua leaves in a grinder along with green chilies.

Bathua Leaves Boiled

Grind.

Prepare roasted cumin powder if not handy already.

Bhuna Jeera, Boiled Bathua

Take 3 cups of plain yogurt and whip to make it smooth.

Dahi - Plain Yogurt

3. Put the raita together

Mix into the whipped yogurt the boiled bathua leaves-green chili paste, roasted cumin powder, kala namak and salt (be mindful of the quantity – remember the bathua has been salted already).

Yogurt with Bathua Leaves and Spices

Bathua ka raita is ready. Let it stand for an hour before serving. If planning to serve later, refrigerate. Raita is typically served cool.

Bathua Raita with Cumin

Meal below: chapatis with potato carrot curry and bathua ka raita.

Aloo Gajar, Bathua Raita, Chapatis

Notes:

I normally append an English translation of the Hindi recipe name in the title, but made an exception this time. "Chenopodium album yogurt dip" sounds alarmingly like a Marxist revolutionary who, for the lack of a stage or audio recordings, jumps into a pool of yogurt. No thanks – bathua ka raita will have to do on its own as name, regardless of language.

Green Raita - Bathua Raita

Online sources say pregnant women should avoid eating bathua  – do check with your nutritionist/doctor about it.

Try other vegetable-based raita recipes: lauki raita, drumstick raita, spinach raita.

4 Responses to “Bathua Ka Raita”

  1. Jnânâsundarî December 16, 2017 at 6:27 PM #

    Delicious! And what could be wrong with the name in Hindi? Like Sanskrit, every sound has a particular vibration. :o)

    • S December 18, 2017 at 9:11 AM #

      Let’s hope the ‘bathua’ vibration works panlinguistically, and this modest green joins the ranks of ‘paneer’ and ‘garam masala’ in needing no translation :o)

  2. Prakriti December 23, 2017 at 6:09 PM #

    Woww..you make bathua look and sound exotic with your photos and beautiful writing ❤

    • S December 23, 2017 at 10:55 PM #

      Thank you Prakriti :)

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