Sneaky Nutrition - Spinach Cheese Parathas
Potato, Spinach & Cottage Cheese Parathas
What do you do when you have to feed picky eaters? You get sneaky - is what you do!!!
I am always trying to sneak in various "healthy" things into foods for my kids. Some of my "experiments" get good reviews and encores. Other times it is "Mom, what were you thinking??"
I had read about adding cottage cheese to chappati dough in a cookbook a few months ago. I have forgotten the name of the cookbook, but the idea stayed with me. If anyone knows of this book, please drop me a line. I'd like to give the author credit for such an innovative idea.
Recently I decided to try this out and to my surprise the chappatis came out pretty good. Not content with this, I decided to "kick it up a notch" and made "aloo-palak-cheese-parathas". This is definitely a keeper recipe and I will be making this for years to come.
The parathas are yummy, they are very very soft and the spinach and potatoes add a lot of iron and potassium and the cottage cheese provides a healthy helping of calcium that is so essential for the kids' growing bones and our creaking ones :-)
The parathas look delectable as well, a pale jade color, flecked with the dark green from the spinach, with a brilliant yellow stuffing of mashed, seasoned potatoes.
You can use the basic dough to make any parathas of your choice, stuffed or plain. The parathas need very little oil, because of the creaminess of the cheese and stay very soft for quite a while. I used low fat cottage cheese, so you can indulge without guilt!!
"Aloo-Palak-Cottage-Cheese-Parathas" - Quite a mouthful to say, but utterly delicious to eat.
Spinach, Cottage Cheese, Wheat flour
Ingredients For Dough:
1 cup of wheat flour (I use Golden Temple Chappati atta)
3/4 cup of cottage cheese
1/2 cup of spinach
1 tsp oil
salt to taste
For this recipe, there are really no exact measurements. You can add as much or as little spinach as you wish. Also there is NO WATER, yes, NO WATER to bind the dough. It is all just the cottage cheese and the moisture from it!! Can you feel your bones growing stronger already??
This process can only be done in a food processor. I don't think anyone can knead the dough so well as to incorporate all the cottage cheese!!
[Addendum: if you don't have a food processor, I suppose you could give the spinach and cottage cheese a whirl in the blender and then incorporate the flour by hand. I haven't tried it, but it might work!]
- Chop the spinach in the food processor.
- Add the cottage cheese, oil and salt and blend well
- Add the flour and pulse a few times
- Don't worry if it seems to stick. Add more cheese if it seems dry and more flour if it seems too runny!!
- Take the dough out and let it rest in a covered bowl for 20-30 minutes. This is extremely important! The dough may seem really rough textured and coarse at this point. Something happens to it when it rests. It seems to get this inner peace and relaxes into a smooth pliable dough, soft as silk!!
- Roll into chappatis or stuff with filling to make parathas
- Cook both sides on a hot griddle, brushing with a little oil if required.
Balls of paratha dough
round of dough with potato filling
cup of dough encasing the filling
closed cup of dough with filling
rolling out the paratha
Potato Stuffing Ingredients:
2-3 large potatoes
1 small green chilli or 1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala (optional, I omit if making for the kids)
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
1. Boil the potatoes and mash them well
2. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala (if using), salt and mix well
3. Heat oil in a frying pan
4. When the oil is heated, add the mustard seeds
5. When the mustard seeds start popping, add the green chilli (optional) and then the potato mixture.
6. Fry for a few minutes till the raw smell disappears.
7. Cool and use for stuffing.