I have been doing a lot of recipe testing from the cookbook Bal’s Quick and Healthy Indian written by Bal Arneson, published by Whitecap Books with mixed results.
I was looking forward to trying her spinach and basil roti for two reasons: I had never had roti before and my friend Fran surprised me with presents from Epicure Selections including a tortilla press! You rock Fran!
I made half the recipe but will post the original recipe here. In a bowl, combine 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 cup loosely packed finely chopped spinach, 1/4 cup finely chopped basil, 1 tbsp fennel seeds, 1 tbsp garam masala and salt and pepper to taste.
My grocery store did not have fresh basil so I added additional spinach to make up for it and sprinkled in some dried basil for flavour. I wanted the spinach to show up in the photographs so I did not chop it super fine but will next time.
Slowly add 3/4 cup of water (more if needed), stir together and make a wet dough.
Knead until all the dry flour is incorporated and form into a ball. It should have the consistency of pizza dough. Mine did not. I should have added more water.
Divide the dough into golf ball-sized pieces, roll it into a ball and flatten. Dust surface with flour and with a rolling pin roll the dough out into a thin circle.
I tried using my tortilla press instead which I should have floured! It ended up being too sticky.
This was as thin as I could get the dough and I am thinking it is because it was a little too dry.
I think they were supposed to be much bigger and thinner than what I created. More instruction would have been nice when it comes to size and thickness.
Place them in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Bubble? Yes, these were way too thick and they were covered in flour which I tried to brush off. I ended up taking these out, adding some oil to the pan and frying them up.
More like pancakes than tortillas, I feel like I missed something. I may have to add water next time and use a rolling pin instead.
How did they taste? They were lovely! I really enjoyed the fresh spinach inside and the flavouring of basil worked very well with the spinach and East Indian spices. I ate them with Summer Fresh Roasted Garlic Hummus for lunch and they were quite delicious and hearty.
I give this recipe four out of five wooden spoons.
Debra She Who Seeks says
Your next batch will be better!
Wow, what an adventurous and unique blend of flavours, they sound heavenly. I bet the fresh basil would just take them over the top! (I know, fresh basil has been hard to find these days and when I do, kinda pricey).
Suzie Ridler says
I hope so Debra! They were still good, thank goodness. Ava, it’s true, basil isn’t cheap is it? And they rarely have any that isn’t turning black. I could still taste the basil and had all that green so it worked.
Foodie Frannie says
Suzie they look like they taste amazing! Who cares if it’s not what the recipe says it should be. lol I’ll have to try making them too. I have fresh basil in the garden. The trick to not sticking with the tortilla press is to use parchment paper. That’s it, I’m pulling out my press tonight! I was trying to decide what to make for dinner anyway. Thanks for the idea Suzie!
Those look like something I would like, even though I’m not a huge fan of spinach. Will have to give it a try.
My sister’s mother in law is from Mexico and she showed me how she makes tortillas using a tortilla press once. She takes a ziploc bag and cuts the top and sides off so that it is only attached on one end, then she uses that with her tortilla press. So open press, put ziploc bag so that seam is at the back of the press and open it. Put your dough on the bottom piece of ziploc, fold top piece of ziploc down, then top of press. Once you’ve pressed your tortilla, you are able to pick up the plastic, peel pack the top piece, then peel your tortilla off the bottom piece (hope that all makes sense).
As suggested, I’m sure parchment paper would work also. From my experience using a tortilla press, you’re going to have to play with a bit to figure out what works best for you. 🙂
Suzie Ridler says
Thanks Fran! I do try my best to do it “right” but the most important thing was flavour, very nice and wow, made with your own basil?! Mind blowing, I am sure. I am so using parchment paper, so smart. Enjoy!!!
JavaChick, I saw a tutorial this morning on YouTube by a woman who makes them that way too, so cool! I’m definitely going to be experimenting next time. Thanks so much!
peppylady (Dora) says
I’ve never seen press like that I see lot of possibilities.
Coffee is on.
Those look amazing! I love the Spice Goddess..