Palak roti – Spinach paste kneaded with wheat flour

There looking all lush and green on our platters, for dinner last night, were those palak rotis giving us that satisfaction of having a healthy meal (Of course I served it minus the oily pickle). Almost every health magazine or weekly, I read or come across goes on to give importance to these leafy vegetables stating how they help prevent cancer, Osteo arthritis and Osteo –porosis, night blindness, muscular degeneration and so on, the list never ends. Where were all of these above said when our ancestors lived on this vegetable without any after thoughts as to what benefits they derived from it? They loved what they ate and they lived life to the fullest. I think food is all about how you learn to love, accept and relish them….So for all those of you who can’t stand spinach, trust me, this is a nice way of including it in your meal!

Ingredients for making roti:

  • 1 large cup of Wheat flour(available at grocery stores)
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp of Soya flour
  • Spinach/Palak – Steamed and ground to a paste
  • ½ tsp red chilly powder(optional)
  • ½ tsp Ajwain/Bishop’s weed
  • ½ tsp Cumin seeds

Method:

  • Place wheat flour in a mixing bowl.
  • Add half-teaspoon of salt and (optionally) a quarter teaspoon of chilli powder, Ajwain, cumin seeds, soya flour and mix thoroughly.
  • Add one tablespoon of heated cooking oil. Start adding the spinach paste little by little and mix lightly.
  • Continue adding the spinach paste and knead thoroughly with your fingers till the dough reaches a rolling out consistency. (Tip: The dough should peel off the hand without sticking to it.)
  • Place a moistened cloth or paper towel over the mixing bowl and set aside for at least half an hour.
  • Then heat up a non-stick pan or the traditional iron tava/griddle.
  • Using a marble slab or chapathi block, spread out some wheat flour with your fingers to prevent sticking. Powder the rolling pin as well.
  • Keep a quarter cup of flour ready in a shallow bowl.
  • Make even balls of the same size (2″ diameter) and set aside.
  • Take one ball, flatten it in the bowl containing the flour on one side, flip it over and flatten it again.
  • Place the ‘powdered’ dough on the slab/block and with a powdered rolling pin.
  • Roll out the dough on all sides evenly, adding flour as needed. Do not make it too thin, or else it will develop holes or stick.
  • Peel the flattened dough off the slab and place on the hot pan/tava.
  • Observe the colour on the upside turn from ‘wet’ to ‘dry’, before turning over the chapathi and letting it cook on the other side.
  • Add a little oil on both sides and serve hot with dal or any favourite subzi.
  • Start anew with the next ball of dough.
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