Chatpate Chappati Rolls

So I vanished for a week and I’m back with an armful of posts. I had a relaxing day, last Wednesday. Which may be why I was in a mood to spice up things in the evening. Dinner was a rather boring meal of chapattis (albeit the soft, thin variety mum specializes in) and aloo-chauli. It was too late to cook anything new but dinner had to be had and the stomach (and heart) yearned for something tastier. So I pulled out a memory from my childhood of strange snacking urges and quickfix experiments.

I give you *drumroll* The Chatpata Chappati Roll! This was my first experience with oil & frying, as a kid. Problem eater as I was, mum was hard-pressed to make appealing meals for me. But middle-class housewives do have to make do with leftovers every once in awhile. I came up with this solution to stave off my rebellious tongue and keep the tummy (and mummy) happy.

Here’s how I did this:

Ingredients:

  • 4 thin chappatis
  • Amul cheese spread
  • Mango pickle (I like Priya’s Mango Thokku)
  • Aloo-chauli dry sabzi
  • Oil

Method:

  • Spread each chappati with a thin layer of cheese spread. You can also use grated Amul cheese cubes for a more salty, chunky taste (chunky because the cheese is in tiny slivers instead of an even spread).
  • Coat with pickle, according to your preference in spice. Pickles spoil if any other matter enters the bottle so the way to do this is to spoon out enough for one chappati in the first go. Also, don’t use the same spoon to scoop it out of the bottle and also spread it as little flakes of chappati or cheese could stick to it. I actually coated one half of the chappati with cheese spread and the other with pickle. That makes the flavours stand out distinctly in each bite.
  • Fill the sabzi down the center in a straight line. You need to put enough to stuff the roll but not so much that the chappati tears. Don’t take the line right till the ends of the chappati or the sabzi will spill out when frying.
  • Fold the ends of the chappati neatly over the stuffing. You can stick them together with a little cheese or oil. Flatten the roll so the upper fold lies to one side, to prevent unravelling in the oil.
  • Heat some oil in a frying pan and when the oil is hot, put in the rolls, fold to the end. My pan can take upto 4 rolls at a time but it’s difficult to turn them over without spilling or breaking so I only do 2 at at time. Even then, I stagger them so I put in the second roll when it’s nearly time to turn over the first.
  • Fry on sim as the rolls could burn very quickly. Turn over in the oil every couple of minutes to evenly brown.
  • When the roll is fried, lay it on a paper napkin to drain out excess oil. Once that’s done, you can garnish the top with green chutney, cheese or ketchup.

Serving:

Three rolls turned out to be a sumptous dinner for each person that night. But we’re all light eaters so you could plan on an extra for more enthusiastic eaters.

Any sabzi works well in this dish. Dry sabzis are easier to stuff but on occasion, I’ve even used dal preparations. I’d like to see how a Southern preparation like sambhar or poriyal turns out in this.

Dad doesn’t like too much spice or sourness so I used a light hand with the pickle. Thokku is essentially a mango chutney with few, if at all chunks. But more solid pickles should work well too, giving a chunkier flavour. Also, nimboo achar will add a really tangy kick to this. You should pick the pickle based on the vegetable preparation used for stuffing. The blander the veggie, the spicier the pickle.

You can serve it up cut into quarters like spring rolls. Or you can wrap the lower half of the roll in a paper napkin, Mumbai Frankie style.

Bon appetit!

* Cross-posted to Plain Salted.

I Wear: Crowning Glory

I have always been vain about my hair. It is soft, silky and malleable. My face cut also lends itself to a variety of hairstyles. Truly, my hair is really my crowning glory. I coloured my hair last month, in my first DIY experiment (Wella Kolestint). The daily washes have worn the colour down to a lovely red-burgundy halo now.

I like my hair to reflect my personality (which it currently does in terms of colour anyway). I hate tying it up, I don’t like sticking plastic or metal in my hair and I absolutely love the windswept look. Happily, I found myself a hair stylist who understood me well. He says that it’s a rare woman who is willing to trust her stylist and cut her hair short.

There is a notion that long hair lends itself to better styling. But every stylist I’ve spoken to, says that’s nonsense. Of course, it helps their profession to have that belief but it has been my experience as well. People with long hair usually don’t change their style, even if they can. The average long-haired woman nearly always sticks to a ponytail, hairbands, straight curtains or plaits whatever her style may be. In contrast, I’ve sported at least a dozen different looks in the past two years and my hair has never reached my shoulders.

Birthday week is usually a build-up to the big day and a hair appointment is always on the agenda. Here’s what I’m greeting 32 with:

Short, tight and page-boy at the back.

A clean sheet of hair falling down on the side, longer than the back.

A parting that falls by itself in the front.

This of course, is the parlour-look, after blow-drying and professional styling. One hair wash later, the style is slightly more rounded as my hair takes the shape of my face. For a more brisk look, I tuck both sides behind my ears. The hair is full and fluffy on the top and sticks out in quirky points at the ends. Formal evenings see a severe parting, a smooth sheet to one side (that usually falls if I blow-dry it even at home) and tightly tucked behind ear on the other side.

I love my new look! Do you?

* Cross-posted to Divadom.

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