Spinach (Palakh) Muthia
Muthia is very common and staple food in Gujarati households. The name derives from the way they are molded into long cylindrical shape. Dough is taken in hand and press lightly in a palm making fist. Fist in Gujarati is called Mutthi hence the name. It is steamed dumplings made with wheat and other flours with leafy vegetables. I have learned this recipe from my mom and she has broken some rules and modified the recipe to enhance the texture and ease of making it. Instated of shaping Muthia in long cylindrical shape, I make dough pasty and slightly runny and make it a Thali/steel plate/baking dish like Dhokla. This makes Muthia softer and cleaning up is easier too. I am using Spinach but other veggies can also be used such as Fenugreek leaves, Cabbage, Bottle Ground, Zucchini etc. Enjoy!
1 ½ Cup Handva Flour
½ Cup Rawa/ Soji
¼ Cup Wheat Flour
2 Cups Finely Chopped Spinach
½ Cup Yogurt,
3 Tbsp Ginger Chili Paste (3-4 Green Chilies, and 1 ½ inch piece Ginger)
2 Tbsp Oil
3 TBSP Brown Sugar or Shredded Jaggery
3 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Turmeric
2 Cups of Water
2 Tbsp Oil,
½ Tsp Mustard Seeds
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
5 Cloves Garlic Finely Chopped
Pinch of Asafetida
½ Tsp Ajwain Seeds
- In a mixing bowl, mix all flours, Rawa, Yogurt, Spinach, Ginger-Chili Paste, Oil, Salt, Sugar, and Turmeric.
- Add water slowly until a pasty batter is formed.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. You may find that salt in this recipe is more than what you need but it’s ok. You will need batter to be slightly saltty because after it is seamed cooked, it will balance out.
- You can cook Muthai in traditional way. Just reduce the amount of water so that a very soft dough is formed.
- Let the batter sit for at least 15 minutes.
- Grease a Thali, Size doesn’t matter, and pour batter to ½ inch thickness. Once cooked, the volume will expand a little bit but will not fluff up like Dhoklas. Muthias are dense compared to dhoklas.
- Steam cook for 20 -25 minutes or you can do a fork/tooth pick test. Cooking time will also depend on the size of thali. I use about 10 inch thali and it takes good 20 minutes.
- If you are using traditional method, in a bowl take some water, wet you palms, shape muthias and place them on a steamer. You will need to rewet you hands on and off since the dough is very soft and tends to stick. Access water on your hand will keep dough from sticking.
- Once done take out Thali, let it sit for 5 minutes and make small pieces of Muthias by running a knife vertically and horizontally.
- In a Kadhi or Pan, heat oil.
- Once hot, add ajwain seeds and mustard seeds, and let them pop.
- Add Sesame seeds and cook until pinkish-red.
- Add Asafetida and Garlic.
- Cook for 10 seconds and add in pieces of Muthia.
- Mix and cook for 5-7 minutes, and stir as needed. I like to cook it until I see golden curst on Muthia.
Enjoy them Hot!
You can omit or decrease (or increase) sweetness in Muthia. Adjust taste by increasing or decreasing amount of Jaggery (gud) you add.
You can substitute Spinach with other vegetables such as shredded Bottle Gourd (Loki) or Zucchini, and finely chopped Fenugreek Leaves or Cabbage. However, if you add shredded Bottle Gourd, or zucchini, you will need less water since they have high water content. Make sure you don’t make batter runny by adding too much water.