Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chicken Frankie - Mumbai "Burrito"

I guess you might wonder how I can make something that I have never heard of before last fall? Friends of ours who go to St. Maarten all the time raved about about something called "Chicken Frankies".... hmmm, what is that? So I did some research online (Hilarious YouTube Indian Cooking Video with subtitles here!) to see what it was, and it didn't take long to convince myself that a "Chicken Frankie" was the thing for me.  Let's see...  
I love Indian Food,
I love Burritos,
I love street food!
- - -what's not to love here?

But, I've had this recipe for a while and what was holding me back was the chapati bread... I just have to admit I didn't feel like making it. I wanted to buy it!  I've been meaning to get to the Indian Market, but it just hasn't happened. So I was at Trader Joe's the other day and saw these Lavash wraps and thought "Hey, that would work!". 

Now that I've read up on the differences in the flatbreads (Cool food substitutes website), I see that maybe soft Lavash is not the best, and maybe a flour tortilla would be better.... I mean, easier!

NOTE- This is messy to eat!  The kind of yummy, juicy meal that once you have it in your hand you are loathe to put down.... whoa, almost like it should be eaten on the street!  Where the drips and the chowing down don't seem to matter to your companions on the street. 

Also, this would be great served with a yoghurt cucumber raita sauce to cool down some of the spicy heat, if need be.  I've also heard that some recipes call for ground chicken or turkey which would be great too. 

Makes about 6 "Frankies"
3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
3/4 cup of tomato puree/crushed tomatoes
1 onion finely chopped
4 to 5 cloves of garlic crushed
1 inch piece of ginger finely grated
1 teaspoon chili powder (more if you want it hotter)
1 teaspoon  garam masala
1 teaspoon  ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3 - 4 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh mint coarsely chopped (optional)
2 to 3 Tbsp oil
salt to taste

For the salad stuffing:
1/2 onion thinly sliced,
1 cup cabbage thinly sliced,
3-4 green onions, sliced
1 jalapeno, seeded removed, then minced
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp chili powder
a pinch of salt
Sliced tomato, if desired

First, make the salad for the frankies. Shred the cabbage, dice green onions, mince jalapeno and chop the cilantro. 

Toss with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, add the lime juice, salt and the chili powder. Set aside.

For the meat filling:
Heat the oil in a saute pan and fry the chopped onion and fry until it is golden
Add the garlic and the ginger and saute another minute. Next add the tomato puree and all the spice powders (chili powder, cumin , coriander and garam masala). Cook over moderate heat until the tomato is thoroughly cooked and as lost some of its moisture.

Add the chicken pieces at this stage and cook further adding a little amount of water if needed . You want a moist filling for the frankie, which takes about 4-5 minute. Once the chicken is cooked add the fresh cilantro, mint and salt and give it a stir.  Give it a taste, adjust the seasonings, and set aside. It should be quite well seasoned as it will be muted a bit when combined with the chapati and the salad. 

Chapati recipe if you are going to try making it yourself!
Makes about 6 large
1 cup wholewheat flour and 1 cup plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp oil

Mix all the above ingredients into a soft dough. Roll out the wraps one at a time and half roast them. When all the wraps are cooked keep them covered till you need them.

Beat the 2 eggs into a large plate, big enough to dip your chapati in. Heat a flat pan and spray a little oil on it . Place one wrap in the egg, and then immediately add to the hot grill pan, egg side down. It should cook almost immediately. Flip again and heat up the other side. Set aside and continue with the rest of the egg dipped chapati. This step will form a delicious egg coating on the inside of the wrap... but I think you could omit this step if you wanted, I know it's authentic, but I'm not sure what it really adds to the flavor.

Remove the wrap from the pan. In the center of the wrap place 1/2 cup of the chicken stuffing and some of the salad mix.

Dot it with any spicy sauce of your choice and roll it up into a fabulous frankie.
Repeat the procedure with all the other wraps...

If you like Indian flavors, you might like these too!
Balinese Grilled Chicken
Indian Butter Chicken
Turkey Keema Curry
Tandoori Turkey Burger

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