Multicolored Fun Roll-Ups are my attempt to keep things interesting, visually appealing and healthy for the kids’ lunch boxes. Made using whole-wheat flour, the outer covering has been “colored” using natural ingredients like carrots (orange) and spinach (green). The filling consists of a kidney bean paste, crunchy vegetables like cucumbers and lettuce, roasted paneer with a final sprinkle of tangy chaat masala.
The inspiration for the “multicolored” aspect of this recipe came from the store-bought spinach tortillas that my kids used to eye. I thought that it might be a good idea to recreate some of that colorful goodness using fresh and natural ingredients at home. I went with carrot and spinach for this recipe. Other ideas could be to use beetroot (red), paneer (white) – the options are endless! The addition of kidney beans and paneer makes the roll-ups a little filling. Lettuce and cucumber were added for some crunch and visual appeal and chaat masala just makes everything taste interesting! 🙂
Ingredients (makes around 8-9 roll-ups):
- Whole wheat flour (2 cups)
- Salt (to taste)
- Carrot (1 medium sized one)
- Spinach (1 cup raw)
- Paneer (fresh cheese) (0.5 lb)
- Lettuce leaves (per taste)
- Cucumber (2 Persian cucumbers)
- Kidney beans (1/2 cup)
- Onion (1/2 of a medium sized one)
- Tomato (1 medium sized one)
- Cumin powder (1/2 tsp)
- Coriander powder (1/2 tsp)
- Asafetida (Hing) (1/4 tsp)
- Turmeric (Haldi) (1/4 tsp)
- Ghee (to roast paneer and to apply on the rotis).
- Oil (1 tsp) (to cook the kidney bean paste)
- Soak kidney beans in enough water overnight. Cook with a little salt, after at least 8 hours of soaking. I usually pressure cook for 3 whistles and 8 minutes or so on simmer. Drain out the excess water. Puree/mash the kidney beans and keep aside.
- Cook the spinach in a little water and salt. Puree and keep aside.
- Chop the carrot and cook with some salt. Puree and keep aside.
- Now mix the pureed spinach and half the wheat flour (add salt if necessary) to make a dough of the consistency of regular roti (check recipe for roti/chapathi here). We are just replacing the water with the spinach puree and more water if necessary. Add oil to the dough and knead well. Make balls and keep aside, covered.
- Mix the pureed carrots with the remaining wheat flour and make “orange” dough, similarly.
- Make balls of the carrot dough and keep aside, covered.
- Peel and slice cucumbers lengthwise and keep aside.
- Slice paneer lengthwise.
- Roast the paneer in some ghee on a wide pan on medium heat, until both sides are golden brown. Keep aside.
- On the same pan, after taking out the paneer, add some more ghee/oil for making the kidney beans paste. Add cumin, coriander and asafetida powders into the ghee/oil on medium heat.
- Finely chop the onions and add.
- When the onions are translucent (after 2-3 minutes), add the tomatoes, turmeric and salt.
- When the tomatoes are done (another 2-3 minutes), add the pureed kidney beans.
- Mix well and cook for another minute or two, until the mixture is homogeneous and the excess water has evaporated. Keep the paste aside.
- Following instructions for making rotis/chapathis (link above), make the spinach (green) rotis and carrot (orange) rotis.
- Spoon some kidney bean paste on a roti.
- Place the roasted paneer chunks on the paste.
- Place the cucumbers, lettuce on top of the paneer and sprinkle some chaat masala on top.
- Neatly roll up the roti. Your multicolored fun roll-up is almost ready!
- You can cut each roti roll into small roll-ups now (optional).
- You can “sew” 3 roll-ups together onto a toothpick to keep them together.
- I packed these into the kids’ lunch boxes, with eggs and green grapes. Make sure you pack along an ice pack as well, to keep the food fresh until lunchtime!
Tips to Simplify this Recipe:
- You can simply omit the “color” aspect of things, if you are short on time and make this with regular whole-wheat rotis/chapathis/flatbread.
- You can skip the step of making the kidney bean paste with onions and tomatoes. Instead, just season the cooked and mashed kidney beans with spices like cumin, coriander and salt.
Sweet (wheat flour, carrots, paneer, ghee/oil), sour (tomatoes, chaat masala), salty (salt), bitter (spinach, coriander, turmeric), pungent (cumin, onions), astringent (asafetida).
Wheat is sticky and heavy, hence kapha aggravating. It is difficult to digest, hence vata aggravating. Paneer and kidney beans are kapha aggravating in excess. Both wheat and paneer are highly nourishing, if the digestive fire (agni) is strong enough to digest them. To balance all this kapha heaviness, there is lightness offered by way of spinach, lettuce, and cucumber in this recipe. To balance the kapha coldness, there is heat offered by way of warm ingredients like tomatoes, cumin etc. Digestive spices like coriander, cumin, asafetida, chaat masala are also present to enhance the digestibility of this dish. Overall, this is tridoshic, but kaphas need to be careful and eat in moderation, with adequate spices.
If agni is strong enough, this recipe can be sattvic. The raw vegetables contribute to the rajas element – but again, if the digestive fire is balanced, this should not be a problem. The onions contribute to tamasic qualities as would store-bought paneer. Onions can be easily eliminated without compromising too much on the taste.