Chakvat Curry (Bathuva, goosefoot family leaves.)

Chenopodium is a green weedy plant distinguished as ‘white goosefoot.’ The leafy vegetable is cultivated and consumed in many parts of India. It’s known as ‘Chakvat’ in Maharashtra and ‘Bathuva’ in northern parts of India. I’m going to share my mom’s recipe in this post. It’s quick, simple, delicious, and healthy. Ain’t that a rare combination?

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bunch of Chakvat leaves.
    (You can find it in most of the Indian grocery stores in the bay area. Patel brothers in South bay and New Indian Bazar in East bay carry these leaves.)
  • 1/2 cup of raw peanuts
  • 1/4 cup of split chana dal.
    (Chana dal is nothing but split baby chickpeas.)
  • 2 tbsp of besan (a.k.a. gram flour).
  • 4 cloves of large garlic.
  • 3 green chilies.
  • 2 tbsp of oil.
  • 2 cups of buttermilk (also known as ‘Taak’ in Marathi or ‘Chaas’ in Hindi) made from sour yogurt.
    (Buttermilk here is different than one used by Americans. Buttermilk is made by adding water to the yogurt and then whisking or blending it to achieve a fine consistency. I used Gopi’s whole milk yogurt in my recipe.)
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric.
  • 1/4 tsp of asafoetida (hing powder).
  • 2-3 cups of water.
  • 1 Kashmiri red chili for tempering.
  • Mustard seeds as per your preference.
  • Salt per your taste.

RECIPE

  • Soak raw peanuts and chana dal in water for 5 to 6 hrs.
  • Pluck Chakvat leaves from the bunch, wash and blanch them.
  • Next, add blanched leaves, besan (gram flour), green chilies, and water in a blender.
  • Blend the mixture to a fine paste and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a wok (kadhai), add chopped garlic once the oil is hot.
  • Next, add mustard seeds after the garlic is golden brown.
    (Refer to picture number 5.)
  • Once mustard seeds start spluttering, add asafoetida and turmeric.
  • Next, add the blended mixture, soaked peanuts, chana dal, salt, and water in your wok.
  • Let the curry boil for 8 to 10 minutes on a medium to high flame.
  • Notice the consistency of the curry will start to change. Besan gets cooked and makes the curry thicker.
  • Next, add buttermilk, mix it well, and boil the curry for another couple of minutes.
    (Optionally, you can add buttermilk or yogurt while blending. I tried, and it didn’t disturb the taste of the curry.)
  • Remove the wok from a stove and transfer the curry into a serving pot.
  • Heat oil in a small pan or tadka pan (if you have one).
  • Next, add finely chopped garlic and fry till it’s golden brown.
    (Refer to picture number #7.)
  • Then, add Kashmiri chili and fry it for less than a minute.
  • Garnish the curry with fried garlic and Kashmiri red chili.
  • Serve the exotic and healthy green curry with wheat, jowar (sorghum), or Bajra (pearl millet) roti.

Some people chop blanched leaves instead of blending them. However, I prefer blending as it yields fine consistency and perfect texture to the curry. Traditional and my favorite style is to pair the curry with millet or sorghum roti, known as ‘Bhakri.’

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