You don’t really appreciate something unless it makes its presence felt in a loud clamoring manner.
Color was never that important to me until my daughter was born. Fascinated by pink, attracted to red, intrigued by green.. colors are a very essential component of my little girl’s life.
I was amazed how intrinsically she attributes her varied emotions to colors. Red is when she is in foul mood, yellow when feeling good, orange is funny and pink when happiest. Black and white are boring for the 6 year old, so they are never mentioned. There is no particular reasoning for her specifics… they just are.
So along with crayons, dresses, shoes, furniture and other paraphernalia, we make sure the food is well colored too. Well, not one to use synthetic colors in our daily diet, we mothers usually satiate the child’s fancy in alternative ways. Nature is abundant, giving and generous.
The color of the day was green so spinach it was! I made beetroot pink parathas some time back and the recipe was surely a winner. Similar but not same, these spinach or palak(in Hindi) parathas are soft, nutritious and yes Green 🙂
Team it up with a simple potato saute and you are so good to go. A dry potato saute used to be a big hit in my mom’s house. It still is. Mother makes it with just some simple spices, boiled potatoes and lime juice! I could never replicate it.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour or atta
- 1 bunch of spinach, washed and blanched
- 2-3 green chilies – optional
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp ajwain or carrom seeds
- less than 1/4 tsp sugar – I mean very little
- 2-3 cloves of garlic – optional
- curds or yoghurt – if required
- ghee/oil/butter for roasting the flatbread or parathas
Blanch spinach. Grind it using no water with green chilies, garlic, salt and sugar. The paste should be smooth and fine. Not coarse.
Take the flour in a big mixing bowl, make a well in the center, add the spinach puree along with salt for the flour and carrom seeds. Knead into a soft pliable dough. Chances are you will not need water or anything else to get the flour together. The puree will be enough, but just in case you do, try using spoonfuls of yoghurt or curds. Once done, knead well. Keep aside, covered for 30 minutes.
Heat a flat griddle or tawa. Grab handfuls of the dough, roll them out into thin rounds. Place on hot tawa/griddle, and using very little oil/ghee/butter, roast from both sides.
Serve with potato saute or caramelized onions or any vegetable curry and a bowl of yoghurt.
Some important pointers –
- Spinach is best blanched in wilting the leaves in hot water for 3-4 minutes, then immediately running them in cold water. This retains the fabulous color.
- Sugar while grinding the blanched spinach helps in masking the slight bitterness of the green when grounded.
- Curd/Yoghurt in your dough will yield soft melt in the mouth parathas.
- These parathas are ideal for lunch-boxes or as take aways.
In a wok, heat a tbsp of oil( yes, a little more than required), splutter 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, add 1/4 tsp of asafoetida/hing, 3-4 curry leaves, 1 split green chili, a cup full of chopped boiled potatoes. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp of coriander powder, 1 tsp of red chili powder(or as required), 1/2 tsp amchur powder(dry mango powder), 1/4 tsp garam masala. Mix well. Switch flame off. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves.
Serve with parathas or rice or even bread. Great when you are traveling or for lunch-boxes and tiffins.
I don’t see Milee’s color enchantment ending anywhere soon, so till then we mothers will keep inventing, experimenting, exploring and trying.