Sunday, February 23, 2014

EGG ROLLS: KOLKATA STREET-FOOD CLASSIC


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

Paranthas (flatbread):
- 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

Egg filling:
- 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
- 3 tbsp. chile sauce (optional)
  1. Make 6 paranthas (flatbread):
    1. Put the flour, salt, and oil in a large bowl. 
    2. Add water 1/4 cup at a time to make a semi-firm dough.
    3. Knead for 5 minutes till the dough is supple.
    4. Let it sit for at least 10-15 min.
    5. Heat a skillet (or flat griddle) at medium heat.
    6. Divide the dough into 6 parts, roll between your palms into a round ball.
    7. Roll each ball of dough into a circle, 6-7 in. each.
    8. Put on the heated skillet and flip when the dough looks opaque, after about 1 minute.
    9. Drizzle a tsp. of oil around the edges of the flatbread, cook for a minute or so .
    10. Flip and cook for another minute or until you see brown spots on the flatbread (see the photo above).
    11. Repeat for the remaining dough and set the paranthas aside for the egg rolls.
  2. Make the egg rolls, 1 at a time:
    1. Heat an omelette pan or skillet to medium-low heat.
    2. In a bowl, beat one egg at a time.
    3. 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.
    4. Pour the beaten egg into the pan. Immediately put a parantha onto the egg and gently press down.
    5. Let everything cook for a minute or so. Flip so the parantha is on the pan and and cook for another minute.
    6. 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.
    7. Roll up and serve!

3 comments:

  1. Payal - you can't stand Chinese food? So sad. I wonder what turned you off to it to make a blanket statement. There are many sides to it worth exploring with healthy options - even eggrolls! ;-) -c

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  2. This blog are Awesome.. I love foods.. they are so tasty and delicious…!
    Chowringhee

    ReplyDelete
  3. this article, it was really informative yammy and testy your receipe, I’ll be looking forward for your next Kathi roll online order

    ReplyDelete