Rainbow Rotis | Vegetable Flatbread. Colorful rotis/phulkas made with spinach, beets and carrots. A healthy and whimsical addition to your meal.
Rotis, also known as chapattis and/or phulkas are an essential part of Indian cuisine. Made of whole wheat flour and water, they provide the perfect canvas for our flavorful dishes. How much roti and rice is made at home is usually based on where in India you hail from. Being North Indian, we grew up on more roti vs. rice. My husband on the other hand had a pretty even mix of both. Little Mirchi enjoys both roti and rice, and I offer both at dinner time.
A few days ago, Little Mirchi started asking me for rainbow rotis. I’m not sure where she saw them or even heard of that term but she kept saying she wanted colorful rotis. Instead of using dyes for the colors I opted to use vegetables instead, why not take advantage of natures colors?! As a mom I’m always on a mission to get Little Mirchi to eat more vegetables. This seemed like the perfect opportunity. For the green we used spinach, beets worked perfectly for the pinkish red hue and carrots and turmeric gave us a bright and beautiful orange color.
I chose to lightly steam all the vegetables. This provided for a silky purée that was easy to knead the dough with. You can use a good processor or blender to purée the vegetables, I used my Vitamix and blended until smooth. Also, because the vegetables were steamed, I didn’t have to add any additional water to the dough. Resting the atta before making the rotis is essential, the dough was pillowy soft after resting at room temperature for a few hours. For ease of digestion, I added freshly grated ginger to the purées, you could replace that with hing if you prefer.
For the spinach purée | Take a large bunch or 5 packed cups spinach and steam until wilted. In a blender purée spinach with 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger until smooth.
For the beet purée | Take a medium beet, wash and steam until fork tender. Peel and discard the skin. Quarter it and blend it with 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger until smooth.
For the carrot purée | Take 4 medium size carrots, peel and steam until fork tender. Half and blend with 1/4 teaspoon turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger, until smooth.
This will yield approximately 1 cup + of each purée. To make the dough you will need approximately 1 cup of whole wheat flour : 3/4 cup vegetable purée : 1/4 teaspoon salt.
You can mix the doughs differently to create patterns, marbling effects and different variations of your rotis. Little Mirchi helped me and we created all sorts of combinations, the heart being our favorite.
- 3½ cup atta/whole wheat flour
- 3 cup vegetable purée of choice
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- ¾ tablespoon oil
- In a large bowl combine 1 cup of atta/flour, ¾ cup of vegetable purée, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon roasted cumin powder and knead for 7-8 minutes until a smooth dough is formed. You can add more purée if required. Add ¼ tablespoon oil, knead for another minute and place dough in another plate or large bowl.
- Repeat making dough with the next vegetable purée using the same measurements.
- Once your three doughs are formed, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Once you're ready to make your rotis, warm a tava/flat skillet on medium high heat.
- Take the leftover ½ cup of flour and spread in a plate to use while rolling out the roti.
- Take a gum ball size of each dough and combine to form a ball (see pictures of examples on how to combine).
- Flour both sides and roll out.
- Cook each roti on the pan slightly for a few minutes until you start to see some bubbles. Flip the roti and cook for another a minute or so . Now put the roti on the flame carefully, letting it puff up slowly. Flip it and allow it puff up on the other side as well.
- Remove from the flame and apply some ghee or butter, if desired.
- Serve warm with your favorite dish or plain yogurt.
To store, cool rotis and separate every other roti between wax or parchment paper. Seal in an airtight container and store for 3-4 days. When reheating bring desired amount of rotis to room temperature and warm on a hot tava/skillet.