spinach

Palak/Spinach Phulkas

I do not plan my meals unless I have people coming over. When it comes to everyday cooking, I look at my small blackboard where I write my “vegetables at home list” and plan my meals around that. And yesterday, I realised that a bag of spinach needed to be finished off and I was wanting to make a simple roti and dal kind of lunch. And that is when I decided to make these Spinach phulkas. They turned out so well and brought a nice change to a simple friday lunch. My boys loved how green they looked and gobbled them up in minutes.
And here is the recipe for the same :

One bunch of spinach leaves- washed and pat dried

Wholewheat flour/Atta- as required

Salt and Ghee- As per taste

Warm water- If needed

Method:

-Take spinach leaves and grind it in a blender to a fine paste with enough water.

-In a wide bowl, add your wheat flour, a pinch of salt and a spoon of ghee.

-Add the spinach paste too.

Mix everything well. You should be able to make a nice soft dough with the water from the paste itself, If, even after mixing you feel that you might need more water, then add warm water. Knead well and make a soft dough.

The dough should look like this.

Cover and Rest for 20-30 minutes.

Now divide the dough into equal sized balls and make chapatis or phulkas as normal.


Once cooked, brush a little bit of ghee on top of each phulka and keep them warm in a casserole until serving.

 

 

Other variations I have tried:

Beetroot phulkas(same method)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Smoothie series #4 Popeye smoothie

Quinoa, brown rice, wholegrain breads, millets, leafy salads, beets and fruits! Oh how I wish I only ate what I just said above. Someday I am hoping to eat these regularly. Until then, I will only keep liking pictures on Instagram and make some healthy smoothies occasionally. So here is the next one called the Popeye Smoothie! 

It has a good amount of spinach to keep you charged through the morning. I have been told most greens are best to have for breakfast but I hardly follow this rule because I am most of the time just plodding along to get the breakfast done rather than think about making it healthier. But I am getting there slowly and I will hopefully make many more super healthy breakfasts.

 

A handful of spinach – I used organic baby spinach 

One banana 

Milk 

Pistachios or any nuts of your choice 

Simply blend it all together and sprinkle any seeds of your choice or you may just drink it as such. This time I added a scoop of pistachio protein powder because the husband requested for it. And it was delicious anyhow! So feel free to mix and match. But spinach seems to go very well with bananas for some reason. 

From farm to plate(About my parents farm)

When I was little, I didn’t think I would ever learn to cook. I thought cooking was one of those menial tasks and it involved no amount of fun. Maybe because our mother never let us help her much. The best she wanted from us was that we helped her decide what to eat and that we finished what was served. But, as I got older and a little wiser if I may say so, I started to realise that there was more to cooking than merely chopping and mixing.

Have you ever stopped for a moment and thought about where the tomatoes or spinach that you eat came from? No no, I am not that kind of a person who grows her own vegetables and eats only from her own garden. But I am the kind that likes to go pick stuff from the farm preferably or to the least from the market. I find it comforting. I am a little more independent here in London than in Chennai, so I end up buying way too much and often times from very expensive organic shops. I do this with a slight hope of avoiding those greasy takeaways that we do every now and then. Buying too many vegetables is one way of making sure that i almost never want to waste any of it and less of hearing that ” we have eaten out so much this week and we should be spending less bla bla” from the husband. But only the one who cooks can understand the emotions of another isn’t it??? So,When I do cook, I try to use the best possible ingredients.I don’t make what I made the day before or sometimes even a week before. I love food cooked with different coloured vegetables and a reasonable amount of flavour. Apart from trying to make it healthy,I do all of the above to earn that well deserved break from cooking. So when we eat out, I feel a little less guilty.

But here comes the best bit, I am actually very pleased to tell you that my parents own a small farm in Chennai which is a few miles away from our home. And ever so often we get some lovely greens and other vegetables delivered to our house. What a blessing!!! And every time my mother tells me on the phone that she cooked some really delicious stuff using our own farm fresh produce, I would feel so jealous. The last time while I visited home, I was lucky enough to have tasted lots of food made with vegetables from the farm. And needless to say, today I am a bit nostalgic and missing all the food and fun.

Here are some pictures of the produce from the farm which I clicked last year.

 

The Entire lot_MG_6979

The white long ones are Banana Stems which make for an amazing South Indian Style Kootu/Lentil coconut gravy.

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Raw Bananas, Guavas and Vazhapoo(Banana Stem flower)_MG_6981

Musmusukai Keerai(Mukia maderaspatana)

Usually served in the form of Kootu(Curry with lentils and coconut)

_MG_6982

Agathi keerai(Sesbania Grandiflora)

Usually served as Kootu or a dry stir fry with Toor dal and coconut

_MG_6983

Manathakkali Keerai (Solanum Nigrum)

Usually served as Kootu or a chutney

_MG_6986

 

Helpers around the farm and the house_MG_6993

The bunch of leaves below the Banana Stem flower is Murungai Keerai (Drumstick leaves). This is a very tasty one and usually cooked in Sambar or added to dosais and adais. 

_MG_6995

 

Banana stem flower (Best had as Kootu or a Vadai(Dumpling)_MG_6997

 

Agathi Poo (My mother made an amazing thokku(Pickle) with this flower and it was out of the world.  I will find a picture of this pickle and post it sometime soon. _MG_6998

 

The little black beauties in the picture above are fresh manathakkalis/black night shades/sunberry. These berries are sun dried and added to kara kuzhambu(a spicy tamarind based curry).

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I hope you enjoyed this post 🙂