Healthy and Tasty Palak-paneer with Makki-ki-roti

I was intending to write this post since a long time, but it kept delaying for some or the other reasons. Finally, I decided that I should write it before winter says Good Bye.

Palak-paneer with makki ki roti is quite a popular recipe in Northern India. It’s a healthy fusion of iron and vitamins-rich spinach with maize flour rotis.

Traditionally, it’s sarson-ka-saag with makki-ki-roti, but my family members prefer palak-paneer instead. So, I’m sharing that I regularly make at my home.

Palak-paneer with makki ki rotiHere I have served it with instant vegetable pickle and some chunks of jaggery – this combination is a must in my family. In-fact this combination can also be relished with multi-grain paratha.

Just to add, if you like taste of jaggery, then you must try healthy jaggery and peanut chikki or peanut brittle.

Ok, now let’s get started with recipe of palak-paneer followed by makki-ki-roti.

Ingredients for Palak-paneer (serves 2 people)

  • Spinach (palak): 1 bowl roughly chopped
  • Tomato: 2 big sizes finely chopped
  • Onion: 1 big size finely chopped
  • Garlic: 4-5 crushed cloves
  • Green chilly: 2
  • Garam-masala (mixture of ground spices, like – cumin, cloves, cardamom, coriander seeds, cinnamon etc): 1 tsp
  • Turmeric: 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds (jeera): 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida (hing): 1 pinch
  • Gram flour (besan): 1 tbsp
  • Ghee (clarified butter): 1 tbsp
  • Cottage cheese (paneer): 100gm
  • Salt: as per taste

Procedure for palak-paneer

  • Blench the spinach and leave it to cool. After cooling, add green chilly in spinach and make a fine puree of it. While blenching, don’t cover the spinach or it will lose its bright green color.
Palak puree
Palak Puree
  • Heat ghee in skillet on medium flame and add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Wait for few seconds and add crushed garlic and onion. Keep stirring till the onion starts blushing – I mean when turns pink. 😉 image 1 in collage below.

Palak-paneer making process

  • Bring in the tomatoes to compliment the blushing onions (image 2 in collage above). Once our family doctor advised us that always add some vitamin C in iron-rich spinach because it enables better absorption of iron in body. So from then onward I make sure to add tomatoes while making palak-paneer. Additionally, tomato enhances the overall taste.
  • Keep stirring and mixing. Now it’s time to add turmeric, garam masala and salt. Mingle everything together and sauté on low flame for 5 minutes (image 3 in collage above).
  • Add the spinach puree and mix well. Slowing sprinkle the gram flour by finger tips (image 4 in collage above). I intentionally sprinkle by hand as it gives better control. With spoons flour may drop in large quantity at one place. In such case lumps will form and it takes time to crush them.
  • Let it simmer on low flame for another 5 minutes and your kitchen will be filled with nice aroma of spices and ghee.

Palak gravy

  • Add some generous amount of butter and switch-off the flame. Transfer the content to serving bowl and add home-made cottage cheese to it. I use home-made cottage-cheese in all most all of my preparations. It’s healthy and fresh, and best part is, it’s super easy to make.

Paneer cubes in palak-gravy

  • Mix and then cover the bowl. Give it standing time of 10-15 minutes before serving, as this will enable paneer to absorb the flavor.
Palak-paneer ready to eat
Palak-paneer ready to eat

Makki ki Roti

Makki roti can be enjoyed with any gravy preparations, but it blends beautifully with spinach. Making plain makki ki roti (i.e. only with maize flour) is a time-taking task. So, I also add whole-wheat flour (gehun ka atta) to it. Then it becomes easy to roll rotis/chapatis compared to when using only maize-flour.

Ingredients for Makki ki Roti

  • Maize flour (makki ka aata): 1 and 1/2 cup
  • Whole-wheat flour (gehun ka aata): ½ cup
  • Water to knead dough

Procedure for Makki ki Roti

  • Mix both flour and knead to make a soft dough (by adding sufficient water). Try to knead the dough just before you are about to make rotis.

Makki dough-making

  • Sprinkle little flour on rolling board before rolling roti. This will prevent roti from sticking to surface. With the light hand pressure and with the help of rolling pin roll the roti.

Makki roti-making

  • With the help of flat tuner lift the roti, and turn it on hot iron griddle. After a minute flip it and cook it from both the sides. Now put it on direct flame and with the help of tong cook on both the sides.

Makki roti-cooking

  • Drop bulb of butter and serve immediately.

So, this is how I make healthy and delicious combo of palak-paneer and makki ki roti. Try this out and if you have any doubt, always feel free to ask me. I will be most happy to help you out.

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Multi-grain Veggie Paratha

During winters, multi-grain paratha in breakfast and multi-grain roti in lunch/dinner is a common affair in my household. Normally we get the flour processed from the whole grains from the flour-mill and use it throughout the winter season.

Roti/paratha is our staple diet and is made daily at my home. However, instead of mixing all the flours together, I prefer storing them separately. So this allows me to try different combinations depending on our taste-buds.

Multi-grain paratha can be combination of all four – sorghum (jowar), pearl millet (bajra), maize (makki) and whole wheat (gehun) flour or mixing any two or three flour. Here I have used the mix of all four flours.

To raise its health and taste quotient, I also add grated vegetables in the flour. Believe me, this vegetable paratha tastes wonderful with butter, jaggery and fresh curd.

multi-grain parathaBeing easy-to-make and quite filling, makes it a perfect breakfast menu. It’s something that is healthy, tasty and keeps our hunger pangs under control till lunch time.

Ok, now it’s time to list down the procedure to make this mixed-grain paratha.

Ingredients

  • Sorghum (Jowar) flour: ¼ cup
  • Pearl millet flour (bajra): ¼ cup
  • Maize flour (makki): ¼ cup
  • Whole wheat flour (gehun): ¼ cup
  • Grated cabbage: ½ cup
  • Beetroot: ¼ cup
  • Capsicum: ¼ cup
  • Cumin: ½ tsp
  • Salt as per taste
  • Ghee
  • Water to knead the dough

Procedure

  • Bring together all four flours, salt, cumin and veggies (of your choice). Add water to knead the dough. Do not knead the dough in advance. Knead the dough only when you are about to make parathas, otherwise vegetables and salt will release water and make the dough soft. multigrain flour and veggies
  • Divide the dough into small balls and roll the paratha’s. Apply little hand pressure while rolling these as they tend to stick to the surface and break while lifting. Sprinkle little flour on surface before rolling the paratha this will prevent paratha from sticking on surface.
  • Heat the girdle and roast the paratha from both the sides. Apply ghee as much as you want. I use home-made ghee which is pure and healthy. Its misconception that ghee should be totally avoided as it contains fat. Yes ghee does contain fat but it’s healthy when used in balanced way.

These days I prepare home-made ghee in microwave it’s easy and convenient as compared to traditional hob method.

Multi grain paratha tastes good with any sabzi with gravy or curd. Jaggery, curd and butter combination with multi-grain paratha is the most preferred option at my home.

multi-grain paratha with curdHave it the way you like it. It’s healthy and adds variation to our daily breakfast preparations.

I would love to know what other variations you make in paratha as I’m always looking out for healthy paratha options.