Way back when, in small Southern towns out in nowhere, the one petrol station in the area was also a grocery store, general store, pharmacy, restaurant, fishing store, and gossip club. And we should all be glad that in the South, tradition prevails even if the venue gets a facelift. Like the Chevron on the way out of Nachitoches, LA that has some of the best fried chicken, shrimp, crawfish, boudin balls, and a lot more. In fact, stop at a petrol station in any small town around the South and you can have some of the best BBQ, biscuits, meat pies, fried chicken, a slew of meat jerky, fudge, banana pudding, pies, cakes, and even full breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Regional food that comes as close as possible to street-food here in the US.
Meanwhile in countries like India and other parts of Asia, you can do an entire culinary pilgrimage of street-food. So many variations, creations, seasonal foods, and timeless classics that belong on the streets, not in a home kitchen.
Egg rolls are one such Kolkata street-food classic about which all my friends from Kolkata - Bengali or not - have unfailingly *raved*. I cannot stand Chinese food, even less so Indian-style Chinese food, so I'd stop listening at egg ro...
Until I had these and discovered they're nothing like the Chinese egg rolls... and then I was converted. When you're a continent away from Kolkata streets, these do the job quite well, are a snap to make at home, and especially delicious with beer! You can make a meal of one by filling it with seasoned shredded carrots or other raw vegetables. I made these from scratch but you can certainly use ready-made paranthas, or make extra and freeze for later.
Kolkata-style Egg Rolls
Makes: 6 rolls
- 1-1/4 cup white wheat or unbleached all-purpose flour (or your favourite gluten-free all-purpose flour mix)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. olive oil (or any neutral oil)
- 1 cup warm water
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 onion, sliced thinly
- 1 serrano pepper, sliced thinly
- 6 tbsp. ketchup, or more to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 3 tbsp. chile sauce (optional)
- Make 6 paranthas (flatbread):
- Put the flour, salt, and oil in a large bowl.
- Add water 1/4 cup at a time to make a semi-firm dough.
- Knead for 5 minutes till the dough is supple.
- Let it sit for at least 10-15 min.
- Heat a skillet (or flat griddle) at medium heat.
- Divide the dough into 6 parts, roll between your palms into a round ball.
- Roll each ball of dough into a circle, 6-7 in. each.
- Put on the heated skillet and flip when the dough looks opaque, after about 1 minute.
- Drizzle a tsp. of oil around the edges of the flatbread, cook for a minute or so .
- Flip and cook for another minute or until you see brown spots on the flatbread (see the photo above).
- Repeat for the remaining dough and set the paranthas aside for the egg rolls.
- Make the egg rolls, 1 at a time:
- Heat an omelette pan or skillet to medium-low heat.
- In a bowl, beat one egg at a time.
- Put a tsp. of oil into the pan and spread it evenly with a spatula or brush to make sure the egg won't stick.
- Pour the beaten egg into the pan. Immediately put a parantha onto the egg and gently press down.
- Let everything cook for a minute or so. Flip so the parantha is on the pan and and cook for another minute.
- Transfer to a plate with the egg facing up, and arrange some of the sliced onion and other garnishes on the egg, off-center (see the photo above). Add a light sprinkle of lemon juice.
- Roll up and serve!