Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spinach Avocado Roti ~ Indian Flat Bread ~ Palak Roti

Grocery shopping can be a chore at times, but it feels a hundred times worse, when we have to read every single label to ensure that the food we are buying does not contain any harmful additives. As things stand, most of the processed foods we buy these days, seems to contain a long list of additives. Most of these additives add no nutrition and some of them are actually detrimental to health.

I always keep some types of dried fruits and nuts in my pantry, they are great snacks and a good way to incorporate a little more fruit and some nuts in our diet. Dried raisins, cranberries, walnuts and peanuts are usually the type of things I keep on hand. On one of my recent visits to wholesale store, I decided to buy dried blueberries, it was just an impulse purchase and I never thought of reading the label, because I assumed that like dried raisins that I buy regularly, dried blueberries would not have any additives too.Unfortunately, I was wrong :-(......

I discovered that these dried blueberries have added High Fructose Corn Syrup in them.I have read conflicting reports about high fructose corn syrup, some articles claiming that it is harmless in moderation and some that say that it is detrimental to health. Personally I try and avoid buying products that contain high fructose corn syrup.For more details on this commonly used ingredient, you can check out this article.

This experience, along with my previous experience with peanuts has made me realize that I need to do much more label reading in the future... sigh !

Moving on, avocado rotis feature regularly in my dinner menu these days. Last week when I planned to make it, I thought it would be a good idea to add some spinach and cilantro along with the avocado. I adapted my earlier recipe quite a bit and these rotis turned out very soft and tasty. This is a great way to add a little more green to our diet :-)

Spinach Avocado Roti ~ Indian flat bread ~ Palak roti

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Spinach Avocado Roti (Indian flat bread)

2 cups whole wheat flour (Atta)
salt to taste
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder (optional) (or to taste)

Puree together
2 cups packed spinach leaves (palak/ keerai)
1 large avocado (peeled and pitted)
2 dry red chilies (lal mirch)
handful cilantro (coriander leaves/ hara dhania)
1/4 cup water

Additional 1/4 cup water (if required) (see notes)

In a large bowl, add the first four ingredients and mix well. Keep aside.

In a blender, puree together spinach leaves, dry red chilies, avocado, cilantro and 1/4 cup of water into a smooth paste.

Pour this puree on the dry ingredients and slowly knead into dough. If more water is required, you can add a few tbsp at a time and continue kneading until the dough is soft and non sticky. ( I needed about 1/4 cup more)

Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes.
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Heat a flat pan, griddle/ tawa on medium to medium high heat

Divide the dough into equal lemon sized balls. With the help of a little dough roll out dough into a thin or thick circle (the way you like it)

When the flat pan/ tawa/ griddle is hot, place the rolled out dough on the tawa. When the lower side begins to get small brownish spots, flip over and cook the other side.  When the other side gets brownish spots too, remove and serve hot with curry of choice

This roti does not need any oil or ghee, the avocados give it enough softness on its own.

If you need some more water, you can pour it into the blender once, give it a quick pulse and pour the water along with any residual avocado- spinach puree on the dough.

The amount of water you will need will depend on the size of avocado, mine was a large one and these proportions worked out perfectly.

In case you end up with a little sticky dough, add a little more whole wheat flour and knead some more.
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