Spinach Roti

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One of my favorite blogs, Manjula's Kitchen, has been having monthly contests and I've finally joined in on one. This month's contest is for rotis or parathas. I learned the art of the paratha from her blog and, when I've got the time to spare, I love to make parathas stuffed with cauliflower or spinach. When I'm a little short, I go for simpler rotis. Tonight, I thought I'd try to combine them, by mixing the filling right into the dough.

The dough was a bit on the fragile side and the rotis didn't puff much as they cooked, but it was a success nonetheless. I adjusted my technique a bit and, by the end, I had a colorful flatbread, with slight pockets of air and a wonderful flavor and aroma. My wife and I ate the entire batch, with bowlsful of Aloo Gobi.

Spinach Roti

Spinach Roti
(inspired by Manjula's recipe)

1 1/2 cup atta (chapati) flour or whole wheat or a mix of wheat and A/P flour
3/4 cups water
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tbs ginger, minced
1 serrano pepper, seeded & minced
1 bunch spinach, washed & chopped
pinch asafoetida
1/4 tsp salt
For cooking:
about 1/4 cup flour, spread on a small plate
about 1 tbs vegetable oil, in a small dish

For the filling, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seed and cook until they begin to pop. Add the ginger, serrano pepper, spinach, asafoetida and salt. Cook, stirring often until the spinach has wilted and most of the liquid has cooked off. Scoop the spinach onto a small plate, cover with another plate and press to drain. Allow to cool somewhat.

For the dough, mix together the flour, salt, spinach mixture and most of the water in a large mixing bowl. Knead the dough (I do it right in the bowl) until the dough is soft and pliable. Add water as needed so you have a tacky, but not sticky dough. Divide the dough into 8 balls, cover and let the dough set for a few minutes.

To cook, Preheat a heavy bottomed frying pan to medium-high. Brush with a little oil. For each roti, dip the ball of dough into the flour and press down. Flip so both sides are dusted with flour. Roll out into a circle, about 6 inches across. The dough won't wand to roll out as much as regular roti, and will tear if you roll it too thin.

Peel off the dough and stretch a bit in your hands. Add to the fry pan and shake the pan a bit to prevent sticking. As soon as the roti begins to dry in the middle, dip a spoon in the oil, brush the roti with the back of the spoon and flip. Dip the spoon again and brush the partially cooked top. Using your fingers or a spatula, rotate the roti as it cooks. The surface contact will cause the roti to form air bubbles as it cooks, but will not puff up completely. When the roti has browned in patches, flip and finish the other side. Remove and cook the next roti.

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  1. I love Roti, I have to make this really soon! What did you make with it????

  2. I use atta, but it can be hard to find if you cant visit an Asian/Indian grocer.

  3. Wow, those are gorgeous.

  4. I LOVE Manjula!! Didn't know she had a website!!! Those Rostis look wonderful.


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