Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Palak Paratha (Pan-fried Flat Bread with Spinach)

This leafy-layered paratha is made with spinach. You may incorporate boiled and pureed spinach leaves or finely chopped fresh spinach leaves in making dough.


  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup boiled and pureed spinach leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic paste
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • 2 tsp oil for kneading the dough
  • 1 cup ghee/oil to pan-fry


  • Put 2 cups of whole-wheat flour in a large bowl. Add all the ingredients except ghee or cooking oil for pan-frying and knead the flour. You may not require water to knead the flour if pureed spinach is thin. Knead until you get smooth, medium-soft dough. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky or too soft.
  • Add 2 tbsp of oil now and continue to knead. Once the dough is done, put it in a closed container and keep it in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
  • Knead remaining 2 cups of wheat flour with ½ tsp of salt and keep aside for 15-20 minutes.
  • Divide the spinach dough into equal sized portions and roll each portion into a ball between your palms. Use dry flour or oil to make smooth balls.
  • Lightly flour a rolling board and roll out each ball into a 6-7” circle. Make balls of plain wheat dough also and roll them out into 6-7” circles.
  • Now place one circle of spinach dough over rolling surface and place one circle of plain dough over it. Roll both the circles into one finger shaped structure. Coil this into a spiral.
    Flour the rolling surface again lightly and very gently roll out the spiral into a flat circle about 5-6” in diameter.
  • Heat a griddle and put a paratha over it. Flip the paratha when you see tiny bubbles rising on the surface of the paratha. Drizzle a bit of ghee/oil on the top and spread well over the surface of the paratha. Flip again and drizzle some more ghee/oil on this surface too. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown.
  • Serve hot crispy paratha with Rajma or Aloo sabji and green coriander chutney.

Do You Know:

A paratha (or parantha) is a flatbread that originated in the subcontinent (South Asia). It is made with whole wheat flour / Maida/ Besan and pan-fried in ghee or cooking oil, and sometimes stuffed with vegetables, such as boiled potatoes, radishes, cauliflower and/or paneer (lamented South Asian cheese).

A paratha (especially a stuffed one) can be eaten simply with a blob of butter spread on top but it is best served with pickles and yoghurt, or thick spicy curries of meat and vegetables. Some people prefer to roll up the paratha into a tube and eat it with tea.

The paratha was first conceived in ancient Punjab (which now forms Eastern-Pakistan and Northern India), but soon became popular all over South Asia and is now available in every South Asian region.

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