These parathas are very fulfilling and keep you energised for a long time, making it a great option for sehri or breakfast. Semi-cook and freeze in bulk to enjoy later.
I have winter memories attached to these parathas from my childhood in India. My mother used to make them with spinach raita, and me and all my sibling just devoured them. She used aata to make the parathas (spelt flour is not available there). The addition of spinach not only increases the nutritional content of the parathas, but also make them soft and flavorful. I replace aata with spelt flour because of the following reasons.
Why spelt flour?(Dinkelmehl)
Spelt is an ancient grain, coming form the same family as wheat, rye and barley. Spelt has a lower glycemic index as compared to wheat which results in slower release of energy into the body. This keeps you fulfilled for a longer time, making it a great option for sehri/suhoor (meal before fasting).
The high soluble fibre content in whole grain spelt flour facilitates digestion, and is much easier on the stomach. People who have sensitivity for wheat can digest spelt much more easily. Compared to wheat flour, spelt flour is also richer in many nutrients, such as protein and minerals.
Spelt flour is easily available in Germany by the name Dinkelmehl. You can find it at most of the grocery stores. I like to use Bio Vollkorn-Dinkelmehl or Dinkelmehl-Vollkorn for my recipes.
Tips to freeze your parathas
- Knead a soft dough. A soft dough makes soft parathas which will not dry up while freezing
- Partially cook the parathas before putting them into the freezer. They will get cooked while being reheated in the pan and will taste just like freshly made.
- Freeze the parathas as soon as they reach room temperature, so you don’t loose their freshness. The freezing process locks in the freshness and moisture and keeps it intact.
- Put a sheet of baking paper between each paratha to prevent them from sticking to each other. This makes it easy to take them out individually as and when required.
- When needed for consumption, take them out of the freezer and put them directly onto a heated pan. Reheat them to finish off cooking, which only takes a few minutes. Do not take out from freezer way before you intend to cook them as that may hinder the texture and result in a soggy paratha.
What ingredients will you need?
Whole grain Spelt Flour (Dinkelmehl-Vollkorn): In Germany it’s available at most of the grocery stores, often in the flour aisle. Use bio Vollkorn-Dinkelmehl for best results. You can also replace it with whole wheat flour or aata if spelt flour is not available to you.
Spinach (fresh or frozen): You can use either fresh or frozen depending on the availability. I mostly use frozen organic spinach (bio Blattspinat) for mine as it is easily available in Germany. You can find frozen spinach in the freezer section where the vegetables are stored. You can also use fresh spinach. It’s highly recommended to buy organic spinach as non-organic one often has high residue of pesticides.
Dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri Methi)- Optional: Kasuri methi adds a nice hint of herby flavor to the parathas. It’s available at any Indian grocery store. However, if you don’t have/find it you can skip it.
Olive oil: You don’t have to be specific with the kind of olive oil. You can use any variation of olive oil or any other oil of your choice.
Salt: You can use any fine grain salt for this recipe.
Spelt Flour Spinach Paratha
- Rolling Pin
- Stab mixer/ blender
- 300 grams frozen or fresh spinach
- 1 big clove peeled garlic
- 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) (optional)
- 2 cups whole grain spelt flour (Dinkelmehl-Vollkorn)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup ghee/oil for frying
- Put the spinach into a pot, along with the clove of garlic. Cover and cook for 12-14 minutes on medium low heat if using frozen spinach, until the spinach is soft. (if using fresh spinach cover and cook for 5-7 minutes).
- Add the dried fenugreek leaves to the cooked spinach and then turn it into a puree either using a stab mixer or a blender. Do not add any water.
- In a big bowl add spelt flour, salt and olive oil. Gradually add the spinach puree and incorporate it into the flour. Add a little at a time and mix it well into the dough.
- Once a ball is formed, start kneading the dough with your fist. If it is too dry you might need to add a few drops of water. Knead it for about 3-4 minutes until there are no lumps left. (if you are using whole-wheat flour or atta, you will need to add more water to the dough) The dough should be soft and smooth. (but not too sticky)
- Cover and rest for at least 15 minutes.
- Take some dry spelt flour into a tray and coat your fingers with it. Tear a small portion of the dough with your hands and form a smooth ball, tucking the edges together. Add some dry flour if it sticks to your hands.
- Place the ball onto the tray with dry flour and coat it with the dry flour on all sides. Flatten the ball by pressing it with your fingers.
- Place it onto a working surface and flatten it further using a rolling pin. Roll up in a straight line and roll down at an angle. Put only light pressure on the rolling pin to prevent the flatbread from sticking. Add some dry flour if it sticks to the surface.
- Put a pan on medium high heat and wait for it to get hot. Transfer your flatbread onto the pan, making sure that it does not has any folds.
- (If making for immediate consumption) Cook the paratha on one side until it changes to a darker color. Flip and then add about 1/2 tsp of ghee/oil on the upper side. Flip and add 1/2 tsp of ghee/oil on the other side as well. Press and rotate for even cooking. When the paratha develops brown spots all over and it starts to form big bubbles, remove from the pan and keep warm.
- (If freezing) Cook the paratha on both sides only for 1 minute. We only want to partially cook them, and finish the cooking process while reheating them. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool down. After they cool to room temperature, put flat into a big ziplock back. Add a layer of baking sheet (cut to fit) between each paratha so they won't stick to each other and could be taken out for consumption individually. When needed for consumption, take out from freezer and put directly on a heated pan. Cook the paratha on one side until it changes to a darker color. Flip and then add about 1/2 tsp of ghee/oil on the upper side. Flip and add 1/2 tsp of ghee/oil on the other side as well. Press and rotate for even cooking. When the paratha develops brown spots all over and it starts to form big bubbles, remove from the pan and keep warm.