Saturday, 15 November 2014

SPINACH BROCCOLI PARATHA/INDIAN FLAT BREAD - EMBEDDED WITH HEALTH




Encountering fussy kids who simply refuse to eat greens is something that every family is familiar with. Creating a story on a plate either through attractive plating or simply by hiding the vegetable in a dish which the child is more than happy to eat is the irrefutable method most Mummy's use. Many of my friends have in the process mastered the art of putting up most creative salads using fruits and vegetables. I have seen them patiently sitting down for hours with a knife in one hand and a tissue to wipe out the sweat on the brow with the other hand. Close by the plate lie the array of fruits & veggies the hero of the plate with a gamut of tools to give the design shape. Finally with a tired smile my friends look up after minutes of stooping over the plate to create the perfect looking butterfly, teddy bear or a little girl with balloons.

I on the other hand lack loads of patience and find it much easier to take the second route of ingeniously hiding the veggies & fruits inside a dish that I would prepare. With the influx and Social Media, there is a repetoiré of recipes from master chef's, experienced home chefs and cheflings always available literally at the touch of a button. I take time out everyday to draw inspiration from one such creative recipe and adding my own touch sometimes or replicating it completely I try to entice my little one into having the dish with the veggie or fruit hidden in it. Honestly 7 out of 10 times I have happily succeeded but there have been times when my dish was pushed aside and after a lot of coaxing and bribing a few morsels were reluctantly gulped down. The success ratio has acted as a stimulus in me not giving up.

This recipe that I am sharing today belongs to Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi, who is an extremely popular face on Indian TV and a brilliant chef too. What I love about his cooking us that he really inspires you to try the dish in your kitchen as his recipes are simple yet deliciously innovative.

So here I am with the step by step method of creating SPINACH BROCCOLI PARATHA(Indian flatbread incorporated with Spinach & Broccoli) which was liked by both the kid in my house and the grownup who still behaves like a tiny tot, sometimes.



INGREDIENTS: 

1) Broccoli - 1 Cup (Grated)
2) Spinach - 1 Cup ( Finely chopped / Puréed)
3) Onion - 1 medium (Finely chopped. Use red, white or yellow, choice is yours. I have used red onions in my recipe)
4) Garlic - 2 Tbsp (Finely Chopped)
5) Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp (Chopped green chillies or paprika can be used alternatively)
6) Dry Mango Powder / Amchur - 1Tsp (Chat masala or pounded dry pomegrate seeds / Anar Dana  can also be used instead) 
7) Roasted Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
8) Whole Wheat Flour - 2 Cups
9) Salt to taste
10) Olive Oil - For frying the parathas (Ghee/clarified butter or any oil can be used according to your choice.
11) Water - 1/2 Cup (to knead the dough)

Note: I have made certain changes from the original recipe.In the original recipe the chef also used  chopped ginger and carom seeds/ Ajwain. He omitted the use of chopped onions and dry mango powder. As I love the flavour of garlic and its health benefits are immense I use lots of garlic and let its fragrance rule along with the other subtle yet individual aromas. I have also seen that garlic complements Spinach beautifully. Instead of using carom seeds for an intermittent crunch I used onions for the same. Needless to say that they are distinctly different in all aspects but provide the 
crunch to paratha. I used dry mango powder for the zesty quotient of the paratha.

You can decide your own add ons depending upon your or your family's preferences. Only the 
KEY INGREDIENTS : SPINACH AND BROCCOLI 
remain constant. The best thing to do according to me is try different combination of the spices on different days and keep your family enticed to the paratha. As every spice or aromatic come with their own distinctive characteristics it would be fascinating to try all possible combinations. Then offcourse you get to choose which one remains in the menu and which one gets chucked off. 

STEP BY STEP PROCEDURE : 

1) Assemble all the ingredients within reach. As I say in all my posts there is nothing as good as a pre prep, where all the ingredients are sourced well in advance and placed at hands reach. 
2) In a mixing bowl mix all the ingredients Whole Wheat Flour, chopped Garlic, chopped Onion, Red Chilli powder, roasted Cumin Powder, Dry Mango powder, salt, grated Broccoli, finely chopped Spinach and mix nicely.

 

 3) Either in the traditional way or using a Food Processor knead everything together to form a soft dough. Let the dough sit for sometime for the gluten in the wheat to develop so that it easily stretches out when you apply pressure with the rolling pin,forming the desired shape without breaking. However if you are short of time, it's absolutely o.k. to start within a few minutes as the gluten in whole wheat flour takes lesser time to develop than all purpose flour.

Don't be worried if the surface of the dough looks uneven. As there are different elements having different textures spread evenly through the dough it will never have the same satin smooth surface which the normal whole wheat or durum wheat stand alone dough normally has. 

 

4) Then roll the dough into the shape of a rounded log, dividing the entire dough into equal disc size. You need not measure each disc size with a geometric perfection. Taking one disc in between your palms shape it to look like a tennis ball. Dust the board or the area on your work station where you will roll the flat bread,lightly with dry flour. Place the ball shaped dough on the board.


5) With the help of your palm flatten the ball shaped dough. Either by using the pressure from your fingers to flatten the dough further you can give it the required round shape. As I am not looking for very large size parathas I can put this method into use. However the safe bet is to use the rolling pin and by applying pressure in the centre, working from within to the sides flatten the dough to the required round shape, size and thickness. Gently lift the flattened dough from the board and place it on the griddle / tawa. Preheat the tawa on high flame from a few minutes before placing the flattened round shaped dough on it. 


6) Let the side face down on the griddle cook first. I normally cook on high flame, attentively looking down on the flat bread to develop the small brown spots which will indicate that it is time to turn over to allow the other side to cook. The brown spots appear within one minute of placing the paratha on the griddle if the griddle is hot and on high flame. But if you are a beginner then turn the heat to medium when you place the flat bread on the griddle and check for the brown spots only after a minute and half or max two minutes. Then turn the paratha over for the other side to cook.


7) When both the sides are cooked completely ( indication the small brown spots ) you can by using a brush,paint one side first with olive oil, flip over, leave it to brown for 1/2 a minute brush oil on the other side, again turn over and leave the paratha for at least 20-30 seconds to get the perfect colour and crunch you are looking for. 
Traditionally and especially in the Northern Indian regions the paratha is cooked using a clay oven / tandoor and a dollop of homemade butter is placed on it when served. 
The choice is yours whether you want to fry the flat bread in oil of your choice, clarified butter/ ghee or simply without any oil. The final product in all the cases will be delicious. It's only your preference of an healthy alternative or having it the way our older generation had dousing the paratha with clarified butter or makhan / butter. 


8) And Voila your first Paratha is ready for plating. Finish the remaining paratha's in the same manner and serve them piping hot. I personally feel that it's not a good idea to eat them cold or reheat them and eat. But if you do not have the choice but to do it then do it. But I have always eaten a paratha right out of the griddle, straight onto my plate and like to serve my family and friends piping hot flat bread too.


The Spinach-Broccoli Paratha tastes even better when served with yogurt, pickles or a curry of choice.

SPINACH BROCCOLI PARATHA / INDIAN FLAT BREAD RECIPE

SERVES : 4
PREPARATION TIME : 10 min
COOKING TIME : 15- 20 min

INGREDIENTS: 

1) Broccoli - 1 Cup (Grated)
2) Spinach - 1 Cup ( Finely chopped / Puréed)
3) Onion - 1 medium (Finely chopped. Use red, white or yellow, choice is yours. I have used red onions in my recipe)
4) Garlic - 2 Tbsp (Finely Chopped)
5) Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp (Chopped green chillies or paprika can be used alternatively)
6) Dry Mango Powder / Amchur - 1Tsp (Chat masala or pounded dry pomegrate seeds / Anar Dana  can also be used instead) 
7) Roasted Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
8) Whole Wheat Flour - 2 Cups
9) Salt to taste
10) Olive Oil - For frying the parathas (Ghee/clarified butter or any oil can be used according to your choice.
11) Water - 1/2 Cup (to knead the dough)

Note: I have made certain changes from the original recipe.In the original recipe the chef also used  chopped ginger and carom seeds/ Ajwain. He omitted the use of chopped onions and dry mango powder. As I love the flavour of garlic and its health benefits are immense I use lots of garlic and let its fragrance rule along with the other subtle yet individual aromas. I have also seen that garlic complements Spinach beautifully. Instead of using carom seeds for an intermittent crunch I used onions for the same. Needless to say that they are distinctly different in all aspects but provide the 
crunch to paratha. I used dry mango powder for the zesty quotient of the paratha.

You can decide your own add ons depending upon your or your family's preferences. Only the 
KEY INGREDIENTS : SPINACH AND BROCCOLI 
remain constant. The best thing to do according to me is try different combination of the spices on different days and keep your family enticed to the paratha. As every spice or aromatic come with their own distinctive characteristics it would be fascinating to try all possible combinations. Then offcourse you get to choose which one remains in the menu and which one gets chucked off. 

STEP BY STEP PROCEDURE : 

1) Assemble all the ingredients within reach. As I say in all my posts there is nothing as good as a pre prep, where all the ingredients are sourced well in advance and placed at hands reach. 

2) In a mixing bowl mix all the ingredients Whole Wheat Flour, chopped Garlic, chopped Onion, Red Chilli powder, roasted Cumin Powder, Dry Mango powder, salt, grated Broccoli, finely chopped Spinach and mix nicely.

 3) Either in the traditional way or using a Food Processor knead everything together to form a soft dough. Let the dough sit for sometime for the gluten in the wheat to develop so that it easily stretches out when you apply pressure with the rolling pin,forming the desired shape without breaking. However if you are short of time, it's absolutely o.k. to start within a few minutes as the gluten in whole wheat flour takes lesser time to develop than all purpose flour.

Don't be worried if the surface of the dough looks uneven. As there are different elements having different textures spread evenly through the dough it will never have the same satin smooth surface which the normal whole wheat or durum wheat stand alone dough normally has. 

4) Then roll the dough into the shape of a rounded log, dividing the entire dough into equal disc size. You need not measure each disc size with a geometric perfection. Taking one disc in between your palms shape it to look like a tennis ball. Dust the board or the area on your work station where you will roll the flat bread,lightly with dry flour. Place the ball shaped dough on the board.

5) With the help of your palm flatten the ball shaped dough. Either by using the pressure from your fingers to flatten the dough further you can give it the required round shape. As I am not looking for very large size parathas I can put this method into use. However the safe bet is to use the rolling pin and by applying pressure in the centre, working from within to the sides flatten the dough to the required round shape, size and thickness. Gently lift the flattened dough from the board and place it on the griddle / tawa. Preheat the tawa on high flame from a few minutes before placing the flattened round shaped dough on it. 

6) Let the side face down on the griddle cook first. I normally cook on high flame, attentively looking down on the flat bread to develop the small brown spots which will indicate that it is time to turn over to allow the other side to cook. The brown spots appear within one minute of placing the paratha on the griddle if the griddle is hot and on high flame. But if you are a beginner then turn the heat to medium when you place the flat bread on the griddle and check for the brown spots only after a minute and half or max two minutes. Then turn the paratha over for the other side to cook.

7) When both the sides are cooked completely ( indication the small brown spots ) you can by using a brush,paint one side first with olive oil, flip over, leave it to brown for 1/2 a minute brush oil on the other side, again turn over and leave the paratha for at least 20-30 seconds to get the perfect colour and crunch you are looking for. 
Traditionally and especially in the Northern Indian regions the paratha is cooked using a clay oven / tandoor and a dollop of homemade butter is placed on it when served. 
The choice is yours whether you want to fry the flat bread in oil of your choice, clarified butter/ ghee or simply without any oil. The final product in all the cases will be delicious. It's only your preference of an healthy alternative or having it the way our older generation had dousing the paratha with clarified butter or makhan / butter. 

8) And Voila your first Paratha is ready for plating. Finish the remaining paratha's in the same manner and serve them piping hot. I personally feel that it's not a good idea to eat them cold or reheat them and eat. But if you do not have the choice but to do it then do it. But I have always eaten a paratha right out of the griddle, straight onto my plate and like to serve my family and friends piping hot flat bread too.

The Spinach-Broccoli Paratha tastes even better when served with yogurt, pickles or a curry of choice.



CHECK LIST : 
1) WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, 2) BROCCOLI, 3) SPINACH, 4) GARLIC, 5) ONION, 6) RED CHILLI POWDER, 7) ROASTED CUMIN POWDER, 8) DRY MANGO POWDER, 9) SALT, 10) OIL, 11) WATER

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