Ginger and cumin puffed bread with spinach


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

This delectable bread, Palak Puri, from the Indore area is gently aromatic, and its flavours mingle happily with any vegetable curry. Traditionally, the dough is divided into small portions and each puri is rolled out individually, but in order to save time, you can roll out larger portions and cut them into smaller circles with a metal cutter. The crisp fried breads are divine with all manner of curries.


  • 100 g/oz fresh spinach leaves
  • 300 g/10 oz/ cups chapati flour (atta) or fine wholemeal (whole-wheat) flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp aniseed
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp salt
  • 5 ml/1 tsp ginger purée
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp chilli powder
  • 25 g/1 oz butter
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp water
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying


  1. Put the spinach in a heatproof bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Stir to ensure that all the leaves are immersed in the water. Leave them soaking for 2 minutes, then drain and refresh in cold water.

  2. Squeeze out as much excess water as possible from the spinach and chop the leaves finely with a large knife or in a food processor, in short bursts, taking care not to reduce the spinach to a purée.

  3. Put the flour in a mixing bowl and add the aniseed, salt, ginger and chilli powder. Mix well and rub in the butter.

  4. Add the chopped spinach and 30ml/ 2 tbsp water, and mix until a soft dough is formed.

  5. Transfer the dough to a flat surface and knead for 3–4 minutes.

  6. Cover with a damp dish towel and set aside for 30 minutes.

  7. Divide the dough into two equal parts and pinch off or cut ten equal portions from each. Form into balls and flatten to smooth, round cakes.

  8. Dust the cakes lightly with flour and roll each one out to a 7.5cm/3 in circle, taking care not to tear or pierce them as they will not puff up if damaged. Place them in a single layer on baking parchment and cover with another piece of parchment.

  9. Heat the oil in a wok or other pan suitable for deep-frying. When the oil has a faint shimmer of rising smoke on the surface, carefully drop in one cake. As soon as it rises to the surface, gently tap round the edges to encourage puffing.

  10. When it has puffed up, turn it over and fry the other side until browned. Drain on kitchen paper.

  11. Keep the fried puris on a baking tray in a single layer while you cook the remaining dough. They are best eaten fresh, though they can be re-heated for 2–3 minutes in a hot oven. Serve with any curry.

Per portion Energy 58kcal/247kJ; Protein 2.1g; Carbohydrate 9.8g, of which sugars 0.4g; Fat 1.5g, of which saturates 0.7g; Cholesterol 3mg; Calcium 15mg; Fibre 1.5g; Sodium 17mg.