21 November, 2011

Bathua, Cheel Bhaji (Chenopodium album)

This is version of 'Bathua' that I usually get from my local vendor.  It must be a variant, because it has smooth edges rather than serrated, which is what is typical in the leaves of Chenopodium album (see Wikipedia link below), or 'goose-foot' greens as it is also called because of the resemblance.  Other names include Lamb's quarter, or even pigweed.

It is a wild relative of the spinach plant (with just nearly as much oxalic content!), very nutritious,  usually found during the winter months, and can be cooked in many of the same ways.

The young leaves or smaller stems can be eaten raw in salads. It can also be used to make delicious raita, or in dals, or veggied dishes combined with potatoes.  Also good to mix into chapathi dough, or to make pakoras.

Bundle of greens tied with a strip of banana fibre.

Wikipedia link to Chenopodium album.

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