Craving street food

This post is for you if you crave street food and good health (not necessarily in that order) all at the same time. Indian street food dwells in a realm of its own. That is where interesting flavors first got juggled together, red food color was whisked in with zest and monosodium glutamate was never put under a taboo. Who could resist the reddish orange fluorescent glow of a piping hot plate of chilly idli, eaten from a brightly lit peddler stand where a tea samovar is always brewing? You can then enjoy whatever you have ordered listening to the cacophony of cast iron spatulas pounding on giant cast iron griddle in the process of making kothu parotta, to the tang of which to this day I am an addict. Also, I have suffered dearly for it. That is all I am saying.

Kothu parotta-2

You could order a kothu parotta, from many of the restaurants in India now, it is that time in the country, when big hotels are running street food stands. Also you could easily make something very similar at home according to your own terms, with out compromising the taste, with out adding MSG or food color or anything that annoys you even if that is broccoli! Here is how.

Before we begin, please suffer though some trivia. In India, you would make this with shredded up porottas (not to be confused with parathas), a flaky oh –so-good flat bread, which is toothsome to eat on its own. However, the
making of porottas requires talent, patience, training and a good amount of vegetable shortening called Dalda, all of which I am in short supply. So I usually make some crepes, over cook them, shred, chop some vegetables and throw in some left over chicken curry if I have it, stir fry everything together with some spices and call it a complete meal. To make everything immensely better, these days I use whole wheat crepes, and declare it healthy, with out compromising the taste of course. I am starting to develop an affection towards using King Arthur Flour Company’s white whole wheat flour these days, that way you could be on a secret little mission to serve whole grains to the family and they will never have a clue! KAF Company is not paying me a dime to write this, but I am still doing it because I have a good hunch that you will like it too.

Kothu parotta - 3

If you don’t have left over chicken curry, you have to make something which vaguely tastes so, by following a quick method described below, which should only be used for the purpose using in this recipe. It will not really taste that great otherwise as a regular chicken curry.

Kothu parotta - 4

Spicy Stir fried crepes (Indian street food style)

*Crepes chopped - 4 cups
Onions cut into ½ inch squares - 1 ½ cup
Ginger- finely chopped - 2 tbsp
Garlic - finely chopped - 1 tsp
Green chilies -cut into rounds - ½ tsp
Carrot thinly sliced - ½ cup
Bell pepper sliced - ½ cup
Cabbage shredded into long strips - 1 ½ cups
Tomatoes - cut into 1 inch pieces - 1 ½ cup
Zucchini/radish/or any other vegetable - ½ cup
Green onions- chopped - 1 cup
Cilantro chopped - ½ cup
Boneless chicken pieces from a chicken curry -shredded to pieces - 1 cup
Gravy from the curry - 4 tbsp
Vegetable bouillon cube - 2
Cumin - ¼ tsp
Fennel - ½ tsp
Black pepper - crushed - ½ tsp
Lemon - 1
Oil - 2 tbsp

Heat Oil in a wok. When the oil is hot, add cumin and fennel, quickly followed by onion, ginger, garlic, green chilies and crushed bullion cubes. Stir fry for two minutes. Then add carrot, bell pepper, zucchini, and stir fry for a minute. Now add chicken pieces, followed by gravy and toss very well to mix. Add chopped crepes and cabbage, stir fry for 1 more minute at high heat Turn the heat to low and add tomatoes, crushed black pepper, half of shopped cilantro, half of green onion. Toss very well to mix everything. Serve piping hot with a wedge of lime squeezed over, sprinkled with cilantro and chopped green onion Serve with a simple cucumber raitha.
*Recipe follows

All purpose or whole wheat flour - 2 cups
Water -1 ½ cup.
Salt -¼ tsp

Mix all ingredients together in a blender to make a thin batter (crepe/dosa batter consistency). Heat a griddle, brush lightly with oil, Spread ¼ cup batter in a thin layer. Cook for a minute. Turn it over and cook the other side, till brown spots form. Lift it from the griddle and keep uncovered on a baking tray. Make crepes using the whole batter. When the crepes cool down, roll two of them up, and shred with a knife

Quick fix chicken masala
(If you don’t have left over chicken curry)

Boneless chicken pieces - 1 cup
Garlic chopped- ½ tsp
Ginger chopped - 1 tsp
Tomato chopped - ½ cup
Clove crushed -1
Fennel seeds crushed – ¼ tsp
Cinnamon powder - ⅛ tsp
Chilly powder - ½ tsp
Paprika - 1 tsp
Coriander powder – ½ tsp
Cilantro chopped – 2 tbsp
Salt – ¼ tsp

Heat a sauce pan, when the pan is hot, add all ingredients except tomato and chicken. Stir to combine (for less than 1 minute). Now add tomatoes, chicken, salt and ½ cup water. Mix everything together and cook covered till the gravy coats the chicken pieces. Cool and store till further use. This amount of masala prepared substitutes the chicken pieces and gravy listed in the recipe.

Cucumber raitha
Finely chopped cucumber – 1 cup
Yogurt -1 cup
Minced onion – 1 tbsp
Minced green chilies – ¼ tsp (or less)
Salt – to taste
Mix everything together in a bowl. Keep covered for 10 minutes before serving.


Swathi said...

Koothu parotta looks delicious, i miss them.

Priya said...

I came here looking for an old recipe of yours and am thrilled to see that you are back to blogging Spicyana. Your initial kothu parotta recipe has been my got-to recipe, and ofcourse the fruitcake too. I am really late to the party, but I'm glad I came looking :)

Priya Suresh said...

Very tempting, havent had kothu parotta since a long, makes me hungry..

Anonymous said...

I am just too glad to see you back Archana,i still make the chilly crepes you had up here a while ago.


Finla said...

I have never had this, i only knew aobut this dish after i started blogging and this looks so so good.

Sharmi said...

I have never eaten this! looks so good and make me hungry:)

Linda said...

Imagine my surprise and delight to see you at Out of the Garden -- I love the updated Spicyana site, love the new recipes, and most of all love to see you back!

lissie said...

I love kothu parotta..your version is very healthy and nutritious!


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