Since my teenage days I have had a habit to scribble down any recipes that I like. I am not shy or afraid of asking people if I like their dish. I have many notebooks which I have filled with written recipes, rather than bought books. Most of the time I forget about recipes in my notebooks. While I was cleaning the house for spring, I found a few notebooks which are written in Gujarati!
In the United Kingdom, when summer is on it’s way, we get lots of fresh leafy vegetables and greens. In Indian shops greens like palak, methi and dhaniya become very cheap. Sometimes they cost less than 50 pence for 3-4 bunches. I love to get hold of such bargains and thus I bought a few bunches of spinach (palak) from the shop for 99 pence for 4 bunches. I made saag aloo from 3 bunches and one was left over. So the next day I thought that I would make Palak Puri, using a recipe from one of my notebooks.
My kids love to have something different all the time. It was very tasty but I cannot say this dish is particularly healthy, because after all it is deep fried. However, if your kids refuse to eat spinach, this is a good way to convince them otherwise.
Although I have a written recipe in my notebook, I made a few changes to this recipe. I did not add any ghee and I did not use blanched spinach leaves. Palak puri is served mainly for breakfast, although I could have it at any time. It is also good for travelling as deep fried food doesn’t go bad easily.
You will need:
Slotted spoon to fry puris.
- 1 bunch or packet palak (spinach) – you can use baby spinach
- Oil to deep fry + 3 tsp
- salt to taste
- 2 cup whole wheat flour or chapatti flour
- 1 tsp carom seeds (ajwain) optional
- 1 tsp red chilli flakes or red chilli powder
- 2-3 green chillies
Wash the spinach in cold water. Cook the spinach in microwave for 3-4 minutes with 2-3 tbsp water and then let it cool. Grind the spinach and green chillies in a grinder to make smooth paste. To a big bowl add flour, salt, chilli flakes, 3 tbp of oil and the spinach puree. Make sure there are no lumps in the spinach puree, otherwise the puri will not puff as it should. Mix everything well. I don’t think you’ll need any water to form a dough, but if you think then just add 1-2 tsp of water. Knead the mixture into a soft dough. Cover the bowl with a cloth, give it a rest and knead again.
Then heat the oil in heavy bottom kadai or wok. Divide the dough into small lime size balls. Lightly oil the surface and roll the balls out into thin round shapes. Use a slotted spoon to gently immerse puris into the heated oil. Turn puri onto the other side and now it should puff. The moment it turns to a light brown colour, take it out and place it on absorbent paper.
Serve hot with tea, any pickle or yogurt. We had ours with homemade instant mango pickle.
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