Can you believe the dough for these Soft Spinach Chapatis is enriched with a whole bag of spinach? Popeye would be proud! Pack a healthy portion of leafy greens into your meal with this easy recipe the whole family will love.
Place the water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the spinach and cook uncovered for 4-5 minutes until wilted. Allow to cool to hot but not boiling.
Transfer the spinach to a blender and purée until smooth. Open carefully to allow steam to escape.
Add the flour to a large bowl and make a well in the middle.
Pour the oil into the well and top up with the blended spinach water.
Use a spoon to mix the dough. Use your hands to bring the dough together until shaggy. Knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and soft.
Make small golf ball-sized pieces with the dough. Keep some flour on a plate for rolling.
Line another plate with kitchen paper and keep some butter handy.
Place the tawa (steel or irohot plate or a frying pan on a medium heat. Leave it for 5 minutes so it’s very hot.
Get your rolling board and rolling pin ready. Keep a wet sponge under the board so it doesn’t move.
To start rolling, take a piece of dough and roll it between your palms, flattening it slightly. Dip each side in flour.
Roll it once up and down with the rolling pin and then take a pinch of flour. Place it in the middle of the dough and then use your index fingers and thumb to pinch it closed, starting from the outer edges. This step isn’t something everyone traditionally does but is what my mum taught me for soft rotli that rise.
Next, flatten the dough using your palm and again, dip each side in flour. Now, begin rolling the dough in a circular motion, teasing the dough to move around with your rolling. If you can’t do this, pick the roti up with one hand and move it around yourself. The aim is to create a perfectly round, even surface and a flatbread that’s around 2mm in thickness and 6-7-inches in diameter.
Place the roti on the cast iron hotplate and cook until little bubbles appear on the surface – around 10 seconds. Flip it.
Cook it on the second side until small, even brown spots appear all over the bottom of the rotli – around 30 seconds. Flip it.
Now, this is the rising side. Don’t worry if your rotis don’t rise the first few times you try it. It comes with practice. They’ll still taste delicious. Cook until darker, less evenly-spread patches appear on the bottom. Around 15-20 seconds. Flip it and place it this side up on your kitchen paper-lined plate. Butter it.
Repeat this process for all of your roti until you have a beautiful, buttery stack.
I avoid refrigeration when it comes to rotis, it dries them out and they go stale pretty quickly. Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature and eat within 24 hours.
Alternatively, you can freeze them well wrapped in an airtight container with pieces of baking parchment between each roti. Defrost at room temperature and reheat on a hot tawa.