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23 January, 2015

Palak Poori (Spinach)

Posted in : Breakfast Table, Health Garden on by : Isha K Tags:

When I come across anything made up of Spinach, one Cartoon character that strikes my mind every time is Popeye-The Sailor Man. If you guys remember your Cartoon Network childhood days, you might have known that he used to eat Spinach to get Iron and powers. That was just a cartoon for us at that time, but it always somehow makes the kids eat Spinach to get extra energy. Being a green-leafy vegetable, it has every single nutrient that our body needs with lots of Iron. There are many ways to consume spinach. For kids, you can make baby spinach and Corn Toasts or sandwiches, spinach tarts or pie, pastas and wraps, dips or make your winters cozy with Spinach soup. At lunch, you can make palak paneer which is again one North Indian delicacy infused with lots of Ghee and Butter, Palak Bhaji, Daal Palak or you can start your day with Palak Parantha or this Paalak Poori.

palak_poori1

 

This Palak ki Poori which is a great breakfast option, can be enjoyed with Aachar, curd, Tomato Chutney or with Roasted Tomato Salsa. The main ingredient is spinach of course, it is infused with crushed garlic (my favorite), which gives it a light pungent flavor and basic spices. I did not use lots of spices, garam masala and all because I made it in the breakfast plus to retain the original flavor and color of spinach. It is so versatile in nature that it can be clubbed with almost everything. Try to buy fresh spinach always, a bunch having small to medium sized leaves. The fresh leaves are crisp and the old ones are pale. Avoid eating spinach or any green-leafy vegetable in rainy season because at that time they tend to contain more dirt, mud, worms and insects. You get the fresh ones in winter season, that’s why I just love this season, you get the fresh vegetables to cook and there are so many options to cook. Now wear your kitchen apron and make these hot pooris.

Serves:4

Ingredients-

Spinach/Paalak – 250 grams, washed and strained

Wheat Flour/Aata – 2 Cups

Garlic/ Lehsun – 4-5 cloves

Cumin seeds/ Jeera – 1 Teaspoon

Red Chilli Powder- 1 Teaspoon

Coriander Powder- 1 Tablespoon

Salt- to taste

Water – required to make dough

Oil- to fry Poori

 

Method-Paalakpoori_pictorial

 

1. Wash Palak properly and strain the excess water. Grind it and make a paste in a mixer.

2. Peel off the garlic and crush them in a mortar and pestle or coarsely grind it in a blender.

3. Take wheat flour in a bowl, add palak paste, crushed garlic, cumin seeds, red chilli powder, coriander powder and salt.

4. Mix it and make a tight dough with water. Heat oil to fry pooris.

5. Divide the dough into small parts, make balls and roll them on a plain surface.

6. To start frying, remember the oil should be really hot otherwise poori will not fry properly and the dough will soak up the oil. You can lower down the temperature when the oil is over-heated. Fry rest of the pooris on medium to high heat.

Serve crispy hot pooris with accompaniments.

 

Paalak_poori2

 

 Garden Of Facts-

Spinach originated in Persia. It was introduced in China in the 7th Century, and was brought to Europe in the 12th Century. People in U.S.A start growing it in 1806. Medieval artists extracted green pigment from spinach to use as an ink or paint.

In the 1930’s U.S. Spinach growers credited Popeye with a 33% increase in domestic spinach consumption – a welcome boost to an industry during the depression era.

The French term “a la florentine” in recipes indicates that the recipes has spinach as a major ingredient.

It should be consumed fresh because the nutrients in it start deteriorating with each passing day. You can refrigerate it by wrapping it in an aluminum foil or plastic pouch without washing it, this will soak all the moisture and it will stay fresh for a few days but consume it as soon as possible.

Now if we talk about the nutrition and health benefits, it is highly nutritious, rich in iron, vitamin K, C, A, calcium, potassium and many minerals. It is good for your skin, bones, hair and for the whole body. Spinach is excellent for cleansing, purifying and restoring balance to the intestines. The bounty of vitamins and minerals in spinach can bring you quick relief from dry, itchy skin and lavish you with a radiant complexion. Regular consumption of fresh, organic spinach juice has been shown to improve skin health dramatically.

To increase the chances of your body’s absorption of iron, spinach should be consumed with a Vitamin C-filled item, such as orange juice or tomatoes. People who are anemic and less on hemoglobin should include spinach in their diet, but avoid it in the rainy season. Make a spinach soup or just saute it in a bit of olive oil, sprinkle some salt and black pepper, grate some cheese and have it like  a salad. Cooking spinach actually increases its health benefits! Just half a cup of cooked spinach will give you thrice as much nutrition as one cup of raw spinach. That’s because the body cannot completely break down the nutrients in raw spinach for its use.

Spinach contains an antioxidant, which has been shown to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and prevent oxidative stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes. The risks for developing asthma are lower in people who consume a high amount of certain nutrients. One of these nutrients is beta carotene, of which spinach is an excellent source. Spinach is high in fiber and water content, both of which help to prevent constipation and promote a healthy digestive tract.

Precautions

According to the nutritionists and dieticians, If you are taking blood-thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) it is important that you do not suddenly begin to eat more or less food containing vitamin K, which plays a large role in blood clotting.

Consuming too much potassium can be harmful for those whose kidneys are not fully functional. If your kidneys are unable to remove excess potassium from the blood, it could be fatal.

Happy Cooking..!!

 

 

 

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