Hindi Name: बथुआ
Also known as lamb's quarters or cheel bhaji, it is a leafy vegetable seasonal to winter months. Spinach is a close relative, and they both are prepared the same way. This plant is more waxy and carries an earthy flavor. Bathua saag, raita and paranthas are some of its preparations. Common names are lamb's quarters, melde, goosefoot and fat-hen and pigweed.
The edible parts of the plant are the young leaves. They can be raw or cooked or sautéed like spinach. Pigweed leaves have a very mild flavor, hence it is blended with strong flavored leaves. The leaves can also be used to make tea. The flavor of the leaf is improved when it is used after roasting. Young leaves of bathua can be eaten raw in salads, used in a raitas, pakodas or cooked as a saag. Pigweed seed is eaten raw or popped like a popcorn. Pigweed seed is also grounded into powder and is widely used as a cereal substitute.
1. Bathua treats certain skin ailments and its oil is used in the treatment for hook worms. It is very rich in calcium, iron and proteins.
2. The seeds are high in protein and fiber content.
3. The fluid present in the leaves is a treatment for mouth and throat ulcers.
4. The leaves are gluten free.