Healthy Palak (Spinach) Paratha

A palak paratha or spinach paratha is a healthy and delicious option to roti at an Indian meal. This whole wheat flatbread studded with veggies is easy to make and you can adapt it to use up any quick-cooking leafy vegetable you have on hand. You can also make it oil-free. Serve with dal and raita for a wholesome, tasty feast you’ll want to make again and again.

This spinach paratha or palak paratha puts in a regular appearance at our dinner table, for good reason.

While an aloo paratha, with the separate prep for the stuffing, takes up a little more time than you might be prepared to squander on a weeknight, making this palak paratha takes just a tiny bit more effort than making a plain roti. And that small effort results in such a tremendous nutrition — and flavor — payback.

I call this a spinach paratha but you can make it with almost any leafy green you have on hand, including methi or fenugreek leaves, arugula (I added some), watercress, chard (leaves only, not the tough stems) and beet greens. You can also toss in herbs like cilantro or mint. It’s a great way to use up those little bits of veggies and herbs that might be sitting around in your refrigerator with nowhere to go.

What to serve with spinach paratha

Parathas can be eaten for any meal, from breakfast to lunch to dinner.

  • For breakfast, serve the paratha with Vegan Cucumber Raita along with a delicious lime pickle.
  • For lunch or dinner serve the paratha with a simple dal, like this spicy urad dal or this easy vegan dal.
  • You can also serve the paratha for a snack, with a chutney, like a coconut chutney or an onion chutney.

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups durum whole wheat flour (atta. Use regular whole wheat flour if you can’t source this)
  • 4 packed cups baby spinach (or arugula, or watercress, or chard, or beet greens or any quick-cooking leafy green. Use just the leafy parts if using veggies like chard or beet).
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (or cayenne)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil (or cooking spray, optional)

Instructions

  • Chop the greens into smaller bits that will be dispersed through the dough. You don’t have to chop them very fine, but don’t make it a very rough chop either.
  • Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt on the greens and set them aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, squeeze the greens with your fingers so they express their juices. Don’t throw away the liquid!
  • To the same bowl add the flour, carom and cumin seeds and red pepper flakes or cayenne. Add more salt if you want at this time, I find that the teaspoon I added to the greens is usually just right for me.
  • Mix the ingredients well and then trickle in water, a tiny bit at a time, and knead to form a stiff dough.
  • Place the dough in a bowl or an airtight container. Cover and set aside at least 15 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball and then roll it out on a floured surface into a circle about six to seven inches in diameter. Try and roll the paratha as evenly as possible and don’t worry about making it a perfect round. Just keep moving the paratha around after you run the rolling pin over every couple of times to ensure it isn’t sticking and add more flour if necessary.
  • Heat a griddle. Place the paratha on the hot griddle and wait until it appears to puff and bubble. Flip over and apply oil or cooking spray, if using, at this time. You can make your parathas oil-free. Continue to flip and cook a couple more times until both sides have golden-brown spots.
  • Wrap the parathas in a kitchen towel as soon as they come off the griddle. This will keep them soft. Serve hot or warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1paratha | Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 235mg | Potassium: 172mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 68IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

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