Chicken kathi wraps with onion radish salad and yogurt mint chutney
If you have lived in India or visited, you surely have stopped by or even dared to try some of the little plates of snacks sold practically on every street corner in every town.
In my years of travel around the world, the one thing that I found synonymous and constant with food cultures is the vast array of street food. From Taco stands in Mexico city, Falafel wraps in Tel Aviv, Noodle stalls in Bangkok and in every Asian city, Wienerschnitzel in Berlin, Chaat/ Bhel in Mumbai or Hotdog/Doner stands in NYC. Street food and food trucks are there everywhere. The food is fast, tasty and very innate to food habits of its people.
India is no different, street foods are very popular, every region has a specialty they are cheap, fast, spicy, tasty and creative but, I’m always reluctant to eat street food in India and for one reason and good one. Hygiene! my friends mock me, saying that I’m too safe or arrogant to eat off the street. In reality there is some truth to that because I have always end up with the dreaded “Delhi Belly” in the past but, I love spicy slurpy kind of food. So as a foodie I make my own healthy and clean version of the street food delicacies.
The choice of food on the streets of India are practically infinite from fried delicacies like bajjis, tikkis, samosas, vadas to composed treats like chaat, bhel, skewered kababs and sweets like falooda, chaas, jelebi and many more. One of the key to all the savory foods is a variety of signature chutneys: mint, sweet and tart, garlic, coconut and so many more. One of my favorite food is Kathi roll or Frankie roll. Claimed to have been originated in Kolkota ( Calcutta) but, who knows. It starts with a paratha/roomali roti bread, sometimes brushed with an egg wash and toasted on a griddle pan. Its then filled with spicy chicken (paneer for vegetarian) curry, chutney, chaat masala and sliced onions. These wraps are spicy, juicy and the assorted chutney’s add an interesting piquancy.
This recipe is lightened up by adding a layer of baby spinach, dry but moist chicken curry made with lean breast of chicken and replaced the dense fried paratha with whole wheat roti or phulka that is dry toasted on a hot griddle pan, you could use any whole wheat, low carb wrap style bread such as tortilla or lavash.
Here is the recipe
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into 2 inch cubes
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 inch piece ginger minced
- 1 tablespoon each of ground cumin and coriander
- 1 tsp or less cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp garam masala
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4-6 rotis or any flat bread
- 2-3 cups baby green leaves: spinach, kale or mixed with a few sprigs of mint and cilantro
- Chaat masala you can find it at any Indian grocer or sometimes Asian markets. Or Amchoor powder ( dried ground mango) to sprinkle for tart taste
- 1 Persian cucumber diced in cubes
- 1 small red onion sliced
- 8-10 radishes sliced
- juice of 1 lime
- pinch of toasted cumin and salt
- Mint Chutney
- 1 bunch cilantro leaves throughly washed and cleaned
- 1 small bunch mint leaves cleaned
- 1-2 hot green chillies
- 1 tsp agave syrup or raw sugar
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1 inch piece ginger
- salt to taste
- Warm oil in a saute pan. Add chopped onions and saute for 5-7 mins till slightly browned. Add garlic, ginger and ground spices stir and add chicken and stir till all the spices are well coated over the chicken.
- Lower the heat to a simmer, the chicken will give out some moisture which is enough to cook the chicken, if not add a little water. Season and add the lemon juice, cook till chicken is done about 15 minutes. The curry should be dry but chicken is still moist.
- Toss all the veggies add lime juice, salt and cumin. Set aside.
- In a food processor, add chillies and ginger first and give it a whizz then add yogurt, agave, cilantro and mint leaves.
- Smooth into a puree adding a little water if needed. Taste to check the seasoning and add salt.
- The texture should be of a thick smoothie.
- Warm the roti on a pan. Lay an aluminium foil (a little bigger than the size of the roti) on a flat surface.
- Lay the warm roti on the foil and in the middle of the roti place a few baby leaves, then about 2 tbsp chicken curry.
- Next sprinkle a pinch of chaat masala evenly. Roll into a tight burrito like roll.
- Serve with mint chutney and radish salad.
- I don’t add chutney or salad in the roll. First it makes the roll soggy and second the salad over stuffs the roll. So its nice to serve it on the side in individual little bowls. The way I like to eat it is by dipping or spooning a little chutney over the roll and bite into it and alternate with salad for crunch