Chakvat Bhaji: A Leafy Green Winter Specialty From Maharashtra

Also known as Bathua or white goosefoot, but known commonly around Maharashtra as Chakvat or Chakwat, these leafy greens are one of many indigenous ingredients that fly under the radar for most people looking to explore Maharashtrian cuisine. This winter special vegetable is one of many seasonal greens like spinach, mustard greens, radish greens and more that can be easily added to your diet to make the most out of this season. 

By the scientific name, Chenopodium Album, Chakvat is often considered no more than a weed but it also contains a surprising number of health benefits. It’s known in ancient ayurveda and is consumed in different ways across the country. It’s rarely grown commercially and even when it is, it’s on a very small scale which makes it a truly underutilised ingredient. 

They are a good source of zinc, calcium, potassium, and iron and the leaves are rich in dietary fibres. You can also make a juice from the leaves that acts as a blood purifier and an appetite stimulant. They’re also rich in micronutrients such as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and Vitamins A, C and B6, and are a truly unique winter food.

Cooking it is much the same as cooking any other leafy green such as spinach or amaranth as they wilt down as they lose their moisture content. With a selection of spices, you can make a tasty and healthy bhaji that can be enjoyed with rotis for a substantial meal.


  • 1 bunch Chakvat 
  • ¼ cup Split Bengal Gram 
  • 4 green chillies
  • ¼ cup peanuts 
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp hing
  • 3 tbsp besan
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • Coriander
  • Sugar 
  • Salt


  • Clean, wash and shred chakvat finely. Remove stems, and wash and chop green chillies finely. Clean, wash and chop coriander leaves finely. 
  • Wash and soak chana dal in half a cup of water for an hour. 
  • Roast peanuts and then crush them roughly.
  • Heat oil, add cumin seeds, and when slightly brown, add asafoetida, green chillies and chakvat. 
  • Add chana dal, sugar and salt. Mix well and cook till chana dal is soft but firm.
  • Mix besan and buttermilk till smooth and then add this to the pan. Further, cook for five to six minutes stirring well.
  • Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander leaves.