Spinach is known as a superfood. This means that it’s one of the healthiest foods that you can eat. It is rich in vitamin k, a, e, and c, iron, protein, fibre, magnesium – basically, everything that is good for your body, spinach has in bucketfuls. If you want to make these paratha even more healthy, try to use wholemeal flour (the closest the English have to Indian atta) as opposed to plain flour (maida). This is a perfect recipe for health awareness that does not compromise at all on taste.
Usually spinach is available to buy all throughout the year in fresh or frozen form from supermarkets. However, if you are living far from a large store or prefer to eat only seasonal food for it’s health benefits, it is now in season between the winter and spring months, so the perfect time to give this recipe a go.
An old friend of mine even used to joke that I was like Popeye because I loved spinach so much! I realise not everyone feels so passionately about spinach as I do – although I don’t have children myself, this wonderful recipe for Spinach Dosa brought to my attention that incorporating spinach in dough would be a wonderful way to encourage otherwise reluctant children (or adults!) to eat their greens. Plus, because they are vegan, they will store well for picnics – to extend the shelf life longer, refrigerate and leave out the garlic from the butter.
Paratha are an unleavened Indian flatbread which can be made plain & folded, stuffed, or unstuffed with a puree added directly into the dough. Here we have done the latter and added the spinach puree at the dough-making stage – this results in a more vibrant colour and it is also easier to roll.
So, not only is the colour so deliciously appealing when ladled with ghee, but the flatbreads are pillowy soft and taste just as good as stuffed paratha – yet are made like ordinary chapati, without any extra effort of rolling or folding.
After trying the recipe, please let me know in the comments how you got on and share with your friends.
Spinach Paratha/Chapati (Indian Flatbread) with garlic butter
Healthy and delicious take on an Indian meal staple
- 9 cubes of frozen chopped spinach (palak) / or you can use a few handfuls of fresh spinach;
- 240g plain flour (maida) / or wholemeal flour (atta)
- A pinch of salt and pepper
- Sunflower Oil
- 2 cloves of garlic (lasun)
- Butter / Ghee, optional
- Wash spinach well if required. Place chopped fresh spinach or frozen spinach cubes into a small saucepan and pour over boiling water. Stir until wilted, for about 2 minutes on low heat. Drain most of the water from the cooked spinach, and sprinkle over salt and pepper.
- Using a blender, puree the spinach mix until well blended. You should not need to add anymore water.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour (leave some aside for rolling paratha later) and spinach puree together. You can add light spices if you would like. Knead for about 4 minutes into a dough, using a little oil on your hands to prevent sticking. The dough must be soft.
- Set your dough aside to rest for about 20 minutes, covered. Alternatively, you can refrigerate it overnight, as I did – which should increase the softness of the dough. If you press your finger into the dough and it bounces back to its original shape, it’s ready to use.
- Prepare your rolling space by lightly flouring the work surface and your rolling pin.
- Separate the dough. I made roughly 8 paratha, but they were quite thick. If rolling your dough thinner like phulka, you could probably make up to 15. Once separated, oil your palms again and roll into circular balls. With your first ball, dip it into the leftover flour and then flatten it with your palms. Roll into shape.
- Heat your tawa or non-stick pan. We want to cook the paratha dry so do not grease the pan. Cook the first side of the paratha for a minute or so until you see small bubbles rising, then flip and cook other side. If you would like, you can puff it over an open flame, or just cook on the tawa by pressing with a spatula until light brown spots appear.
- Remove from heat and place on serving plate. Now, follow the same instructions to cook the remaining paratha.
- In a separate small saucepan, heat your butter on low heat with crushed garlic cloves until it is melted, and drizzle over hot paratha to serve.
Serving suggestion: Serve alone for breakfast, or as a side for a delicious curry/sabzi. I ate it with paneer makhani.
Seems like not only do I need to practise my handwriting/calligraphy, I still need to perfect rolling my roti round. 🙂 Actually, I am always looking for new recipes just so I can practise my rolling pin skills (I seriously suck), so one day when I cook to impress, I won’t be an embarrassment! Anyone have any tips?