I have had too many late nights out in Bombay to count. We used to spend at least one week a year there at Christmas, mostly with friends from London who have roots there and a kicking social life. After a long night out we used to go to a kebab place called Bade Miyan, which roughly translates as “the elder gentleman“ or “head honcho”. To us, it meant succulent kebabs of all types, plain or in breads. This went on until my friend’s mother found out we were eating there and told us we could get kidney failure! I have no idea why… but we did stop going soon after. Those days have gone, but my love of streetfood remains. This baida roti is fairly easy to make at home and hits the spot after a night out. A tasty, tasty meal. You can make it with minced chicken or Quorn instead, but you will need to cook the onions until golden first, then add the ginger and garlic, then the rest of the ingredients and cook until done.
What You’ll Need:
- For the meat filling
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1⁄2 red onion, finely chopped
- 200g (7oz) minced (ground) lamb (or see introduction above)
- 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
- 8g (1⁄2 tbsp) finely grated root ginger (peeled weight)
- 1⁄2–1 Indian green finger chilli (chile), finely chopped (optional)
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 2⁄3 tsp ground cumin
- 1⁄2 tsp garam masala (fresh if possible, see page 113)
- 1 small egg
- handful of chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
For the wrap and to serve
- 80g (2⁄3 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour, or chapati flour, or spelt flour (the first is traditional but I often use the others at home)
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 5 tbsp Tangy Herb Chutney (see page 182)
What To Do:
- Heat half the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook for 3–4 minutes, then add the minced meat, garlic, ginger, chilli, tomato, spices and salt. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook until the meat is soft and the excess liquid has evaporated, giving the pan an occasional stir and breaking up the meat; it might take 15–20 minutes or so. Drain off any excess fat, tip into a bowl and leave to cool, wiping the pan.
- Meanwhile, make the dough. Add the salt to the flour, with the oil and around 60ml (¼ cup) water. Knead until smooth; it shouldn’t be too soft. Cover with damp kitchen paper and leave to rest as the lamb cools.
- Whisk the egg with a little salt and the coriander. Divide the dough in half, and roll out into 20–23cm (8–9in) squares or rectangles, trying to roll the outer 3cm (1¼in) border a little thinner than the rest.
- Using the same pan that you have wiped, add the remaining oil and heat up gently.
- Quickly make the stuffed rotis: place half the filling in the centre of each flatbread, leaving a 7.5cm (3in) border along the edges. Spoon 3 tbsp of the egg over each. Bring down the upper edge, fold in the sides and then the lower edge to enclose the filling, forming into a flat-ish square.
- Place straight into the hot pan, seam sides down, and cook until golden on both sides. Serve hot with the chutney.
Martin Poole, photographer, and Quadrille, publisher (RRP £20). You can buy a copy of I Love India on Amazon