Palak Puri / Spinach Puri is a deep-fried bread that is served with curry and vegetables or eaten as a snack. Palak means Spinach and Puri means Flatbread. This is a crispy vegan recipe.
Puri is an Indian flatbread made using wheat flour or all-purpose flour that is deep-fried in oil. Puris are an integral part of the Indian festive menu, accompanied especially by potato sabzi, stir-fried vegetables and curries. In India, you will find various versions of puris made using vegetables like beetroots, fenugreek, potato, spinach, or even with fruits such as mangoes. This type of puris not only tastes good but also enhances the nutritional value of the meal.
One such type of puri that we often make is the Spinach Puri that is served as a tea-time snack or as a side dish for meals. We love spinach in any form! Our most favourite being palak paneer. Palak paneer is a regular curry made in our house, hence many times, we are left with extra spinach leaves that are then used to make these flavourful delicious puffed spinach puris.
Palak (Spinach) puri is made using blanched spinach puree that is mixed with wheat flour or all-purpose flour. Sometimes it’s made using the combination of these two flours. Spices like carom seeds, green chillies, garlic are added to this flour and kneaded to a stiff but still pliable dough. Then they are rolled into a round disc and deep-fried. This delicious variation of adding spinach gives a beautiful green colour to these puris. And what a better way to make your children eat greens without noticing them!
Spinach puris are easy and quick to make. They turn out crispy and are not too spicy. Palak (Spinach) provides a host of health benefits from being a nutrient powerhouse loaded with vitamins A, C & K, minerals like magnesium and manganese and extremely rich in iron. The addition of spinach in this puris brings out the luscious beautiful deep green colour that looks beautiful and tempting.
Extremely popular in India, these puris are eaten with aloo matar ( green peas & potato curry), chole, chana masala, matar paneer, paneer jalfrezi, Dal fry, Stir-Fried Vegetables, a sweet dish such as kheer (sweet pudding made out of vermicelli) or shrikhand (sweet pudding made using hung curd).
Spinach puris make the best menu option for weekend brunch. They taste best when served hot but also can be packed for a picnic or long road trip along with some coleslaw or condiments. In India, these are taken along for a long road trip and served with chunda ( a sweet and tangy condiment made using raw mangoes and sugar) or pickle.
You can use readymade spinach puree or frozen spinach leaves for this recipe. For frozen leaves, do follow the packet instructions to thaw them first. One thing to note is that, if you are using storebought spinach puree or frozen spinach leaves the taste and texture will differ a lot as to when made using fresh spinach leaves.
These puris are addictive. They turn out very crispy and tasty. To make this puris cripsy, fine semolina (rava / sooji) is added. You may skip using semolina if you do not have it, the taste would not change. These spinach puris make a perfect excuse to include spinach in your everyday diet.
To make this Palak Puri / Spinach Puri, I have used:
Spinach Puree: To make this puri, you need to make spinach puree first. I blanched spinach leaves in hot water and pureed them in a blender.
Wheat Flour: I normally like to use wheat flour instead of all-purpose to make this dish. You may choose any flour of your choice or even the combination of both in equal quantity.
Spices: I have used spices such as coriander, cumin, garlic to enhance the taste of these puris
Salt & Sugar: For taste and balancing the flavour.
Oil: I use rice bran oil for deep frying these puris.
Let’s see how to make Palak Puri / Spinach Puri that turns out cripsy and super addictive with simple basic staple ingredients in your home kitchen.
Serves: Makes 15 Puris
Prep time: 15 minutes + 20 minutes resting of the dough
Cook time: 20 minutes
Cooking level: Moderate
Taste: Mild Spicy
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 2 cups wheat flour
- 2 tablespoon fine semolina (sooji)
- 4 green chillies
- 1-inch ginger
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/4th teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
- 1 tablespoon oil for kneading the dough
- Salt to taste
- Pinch of Sugar
- Water to Knead the Dough
- Oil for frying the puris
Let’s begin then! But first, we need to keep ready a bowl full of ice water that will help the blanced spinach retain its green colour and further stop the process of cooking. If spinach is cooked for a long time, it changes colour which is not appealing.
So let’s begin to make spinach puree.
To make spinach puree:
1. Clean the spinach leaves under running water, use only the leaves and discard the stems.
2. Roughly chop the leaves or tear them with your hands
3. Now in a wide saucepan, add water and let it come to a boil. Add roughly chopped spinach leaves, using spatula immersed them completely into the boiling water
4. Let the leaves cook in this boiling water for 3 minutes. Now, transfer the spinach leaves immediately in cold iced water.
5. Adding blanched spinach leaves in ice water prevents spinach from cooking further and helps retain its luscious green colour.
6. Keep the spinach leaves in the ice water for a minute. After a minute, drain the water.
7. In a blender, add the blanched spinach leaves along with an inch of ginger, 3-4 cloves of garlic, green chillies and blend to a fine puree. Use water only if required.
Spinach Puree for making puri is ready.
How to knead the dough:
- In a mixing bowl, add wheat flour, semolina, and spinach puree followed by the rest of the ingredients except water.
- Mix all the ingredients well and start kneading the dough by adding a small amount of water at a time. Knead a stiff dough.
- Drizzle little oil over the kneaded dough. Cover and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
- After resting the dough for 20 minutes, knead the dough once again to make it smooth.
- Divide the dough into small portions. Shape each portion into a small ball.
- Now apply oil to the rolling board and flatten the ball of dough and roll into a small disc of medium thickness.
- Meanwhile, heat oil for frying the puris on medium flame.
- Once the oil is sufficiently hot, slide the prepared puri into the hot oil.
- Press the puri gently using a spatula till the puri puff ups.
- Fry the puri from both sides. Transfer the fried puris on an absorbent paper to drain excess oil.
- Simple and easy puffed Spinach Puris are ready.
- Serve them hot with curry or dry vegetables or have them as a snack along with tea or coffee.
In case you do not want to make a spinach puree then you can wash the leaves clean and finely cut them and add to the flours and add ginger, garlic and green chilli paste to the dough itself.
Many a time boiled potatoes are also mashed and added into the dough. This recipe is called Aloo Palak Puri ie Potato Spinach Puri. They too turn out very delicious!