The convenience of having a complete meal in your hand is probably why most major cuisines have a variation of the Burrito. Burritos in Mexican cuisine, Steamed buns in Chinese cuisine, and Frankies aka Kathi Rolls in the Indian cuisine are just some examples. In fact, “wraps” which are nothing but a variation on the theme are a pretty well understood concept these days. Frankies are another one of the dishes that take me back to my childhood and my boarding school days.
The food at our boarding school was stereotypically bad. However, we got a reprieve once a week. Once a week, we were allowed to flee the the confines of the academy and mingle with the riff-raff. This was in Lucknow, India, which as many people know is one of the culinary hotspots of India. There was no dearth of great food to be had. Chinese food at Ranjana’s, the hole-in-wall Biryani-walla next to Sahu Cinema, the chat at Ram Asrey and if you wanted to get really posh, you went to Kwality’s. But there was one place whose name I forget now, right next to the General Post Office (GPO) that had the best Frankies I have ever had.
Frankies or Kathi Rolls for those of you who don’t know are a pretty basic rollup. You take a beaten egg and fry it like you were making an omelette. Halfway through the cooking while the top is still uncooked, you slap a flour tortilla and lightly fry both sides. Then you use this half-omelette, half tortilla as the base to heap up toppings, roll it up and enjoy. The most common variations are Paneer Kathi Rolls and Chicken Tikka Kathi Rolls. The key is getting the Tortilla right.
I had tried making this with regular store-bought tortillas but they didn’t taste right. So I looked up the recipe on my favorite go-to resource vahrevah.com. As usual, it didn’t disappoint. Once you have the tortillas made, assembling them is a breeze, I have included suggestions below. Here goes.
INGREDIENTS (for 6 flatbreads)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour or aata
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
1. Make a slightly sticky but very soft dough. You will need to work the dough hard.
2. Cover with cling wrap and set aside for an hour.
3. Divide into six balls.
4. Using dry flour, coat the dough balls and roll them out into thin discs about 8-9 inch in diameter.
5. Use a skillet or a frying pan to cook the discs one at a time. No oil is needed. You will need a spatula to push the disc down flat on either side till it is just staring to brown. Watch videos on Youtube on how to make tortillas or chapattis, it is the same idea.
6. You are done.
ASSEMBLING THE FRANKIE
1. In a frying pan heat some oil.
2. Break an egg and beat it.
3. Spread the egg around in the pan till it starts to set.
4. Before the top is cooked, slap a tortilla on top so it sticks to the egg
5. Gently fry the tortilla side as well.
6. You now have a Tortilla that has egg on its face, literally. You will now sprinkle some Chat Masala (available at Indian stores) on that face.
7. Next smear some Tamarind Chutney and Green Chutney on the egg face.
8. Then start adding toppings. Your imagination is your limitation. Grilled tofu, Kababs, Grilled Chicken. Just about anything dry and spicy. I used my Shami Kababs (recipe here) this time.
9. Put some chopped Tomatoes, Onion and Lettuce.
10. Roll up and enjoy.