Roti or Paratha With Spinach
Palak Roti or Chapati
Spinach roties are easy to make and nutritious. They are a good way of making children eat leafy vegetables. Makes 10-12
To make Spinach parathas, you can add finely chopped onions, green chillies, grated ginger, salt and 1/2 tsp. carom/ajwain seeds to the dough. Then shallow fry in a pan. See Plain Paratha.
500 gm. whole wheat chapatti flour (save 1-2 heaped tablespoon of dry flour for dusting during rolling out of parathas)
1 bunch/cup fresh, chopped spinach/palak leaves
A little flour for dusting.
Enough water to make dough.
Blanch in a pan or microwave steam spinach leaves for 5 minutes.
Drain and allow to cool. You can save the drained water to make dough.
Mash roughly (not finely).
Place flour and Palak leaves in a bowl. Add enough water and mix.
Now add a little at a time to make a soft to firm..ish dough. If you are new to making roties, it is better to have a firm dough, which is easier to control while rolling out. Experienced Indian cooks prefer a little softer dough, which make softer roties.
Knead well for a few minutes. Do not use food processor for making this dough or it will grind the Palak leaves too fine and you will loose the texture.
Leave to stand for 10 minutes or so. Knead briefly again.
Break dough into 10-12 portions and roll them into balls, using a little dry flour to dust. Keep them covered with a moist cloth. You can make one ball at a time, while the next chapatti is cooking. You can cook them the traditional way, or under a hot grill, see below*.
Heat a griddle or tava to medium hot.
Dip one ball in dry flour and roll it out into a pancake like circle. Dipping the ball in dusting flour from time to time, on both sides, during the rolling out process, stops it from sticking. It should be rolled from centre outwards, so that the edges are thinner than the centre. Roties should not be too thin, approximately 2-3 mm thick, as very thin ones do not have a 'biteÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢.
Put the roti on the hot griddle/tava. Turn it over when it changes colour to semi-translucent and you can see a few blisters on the under surface.
Cook the other side same way and turn over again.
Next step can be done either on a direct flame or under a grill.
To cook on a flame, pick the chapatti with tongs, flip over and place directly on a medium flame, it will balloon up. Move it around continuously, or it will burn.
Cook on the other side the same way, moving it from side to side. It should be cooked evenly all over
*Cooking under a hot grill: Preheat a tray under the grill. Roll out 4-5 chapatties at a time. Place on the hot tray. Turn them over when they balloon up or get brown blisters all over. Cook the other side. You have to be very watchful because they can burn very quickly under a grill.
Serve hot and with a thin film of ghee or butter, with curries, raita and dal. You can put a thin film of ghee or butter on one side before serving.