Frankie – Popular Indian street food
Tawa Frankie Roll – How I decided to re-create this popular Indian street food at home. In 2014, global flavour leader McCormick, the parent company of leading herbs and spices brand Schwartz, is celebrating its 125th anniversary. The yearlong celebration kicks off with the launch of the 125th Anniversary Edition of the Flavour Forecast (a new, annual prediction of what ‘flavours’ will be most popular in the cooking world) and the Flavour of Together programme, with the goal of connecting people around the world as they share 1.25 million stories about the special role food and flavour plays in our lives through.
To inspire people to share their flavour stories and tell the blogger community about Flavour Forecast, McCormick challenged me and a few other bloggers to come up with a new recipe that is based on the Flavour Forecast trends :
1. Chillies Obsession: Food lovers everywhere are seeking out their next big chilli thrill.
2. Modern Masala: Indian food is finally having its moment, breaking free of its traditional confines with modern interpretations.
3. Clever Compact Cooking: Proving that big flavours can come from small spaces, cooks in urban kitchens are making the most of what’s available.
4. Mexican World Tour: Mexican flavours are making their way around the globe, with people everywhere discovering new aspects of this bright, casual cuisine.
5. Charmed by Brazil: The world’s attraction to Brazilian cuisine is heating up, thanks to its seductive mix of global and native influences.
I decide to take up Modern Masala as a flavour trend. Coming from India, using a complex mix of spices as part of our daily diet has always been a part of my life. The beautiful large open fruit n vegetable markets even in major cities are a visual treat and there is a lot of passion involved in say getting the right type of chilli powder. So I think my recipe is an amalgamation of these two big flavour trends together – Chillies Obsession and Modern Masala and of course because I manage all my culinary experiments in my tiny urban kitchen which is the size of a postage stamp I am sure my recipe also covers the theme Clever Compact Cooking!
My most vivid memory of spices being sold loose is of this huge wholesale and retail market in an area called Parel, Mumbai in India. There are many tiny shops and vendors which hand carts with huge piles of spices, bright red chillies in jute sacks, and mini yellow mountains of turmeric and ever imaginable spice being sold in the open. Of course, with our modern industries being so well developed we always used masalas out of a packet but the sheer variety available locally in any small town in India is mind-boggling.
In London, whenever I trudge to my local Indian shop and purchase Indian spices, I secretly wish that I could get an unlimited supply of aai’s homemade masalas. Her garam masala and red chilli powder where she carefully selects 2 types of chillies with varying degrees of heat and roasts them in a kadhai after they have been dried in the blistering hot afternoon sun! Then she takes it to a local mill where it is ground and packed into a large ceramic jar and then stored at home.
I have made a simplified version of Tibbs Frankie using boneless mutton and a variety of Schwartz spices which were sent to me. You could safely say that this fella ”Frankie” is a distant cousin of the Fajita and the Kathi Roll.
How this Frankie came into being is also a very interesting story which I shall share in a few lines here. These lines are from the Tibbs Frankie website
”The year 1967 Mr. Amarjit Tibb on returning back from England had a stopover in Beirut. During his brief stop there he stumbled upon a very ingenious Lebanese preparation, which was a pita bread wrap, with a variety of stuffing’s, this fascinated him. Upon his return the idea still lingered on and he kept innovating it to suit the Indian palate, after a year of research along with his wife they hit upon the perfect concoction. This Indianised wrap was soon tried among friends and family and after testing brilliantly it hit the markets. That was a new era to the term fast food in Mumbai, it caught on like fire in the Jungle, people accepted it and kept asking for more.Now came the problem of naming the product, again a number of brainstorming became the order of the day till a unanimous decision on the name was taken i.e. Frankie”
This explosion of flavours in a handy easy to eat roll which was given a modern food truck makeover is a gastronomic delight and is available in a large variety of stuffings both veg and non-veg.I have rather fond memories of my college days and spending my pocket money which was always in short supply on these spicy, tasty rolls with a bunch of friends giggling away and then gathering any loose change we had left amongst us to buy a bottle or two of some fizzy cola to quench our thirst. Alert : have been suddenly been hit by a huge wave of nostalgia 🙂
I have created what is my version of a tawa chicken roll (tawa meaning pan in Hindi), the original Tibbs frankie filling is a tangy spicy taste which they attribute to a secret ”Frankie Masala” – humm , well I think I got pretty close 😉 – evil laugh follows 🙂 You can go crazy and creative with the fillings and use this recipe idea to use up meat from your sunday roast, try various different veg and non veg patties with meat and masalas rolled into boiled potato casing and shallow fried. Great way to use a lot of colorful veggies and create a stir fry filling too – the possibilities are endless.
Tawa Frankie Roll
- Tawa – Flat frying pan
Tawa Chicken Filling
- 50 Grams Chicken breast
- 1 pinch Asafoetida
- 2 tsp Garam Masala
- Onion salt as per taste
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Minced
- 2 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- Red Chilli powder as per taste
- 1/2 thum-sized Fresh Ginger fresh peeled
- 2 medium Red onions finely chopped
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 2 lage Jjuicy tomatoes chopped very fine
- 1 large Green chilli split lengthwise
- 1 Red pepper slit lengthwise
- 3 tbsp Cooking oil
Mint and Coriander Chutney
- 1 large bunch Fresh Coriander
- 1 small bunch Fresh Mint leaves
- 2 Green chillies
- 1/2 Lime – freshly squeezed
- Salt to taste
For the Frankie filling
- 1 large Red onion chopped lengthwise
For the Paratha coating
- 2 small Eggs
- Salt for seasoning
To make the Chicken Filling
- Heat a saucepan on medium heat and add the oil
- Once the oil is hot, add the asafoetida
- Then add split green chilli and crushed fresh ginger
- Saute' and add the garlic granules
- Saute' and add the garlic granules, when the garlic begins to give out a strong fried aroma its time to add the finely chopped red onion
- Cook the onion till it reduces and turns a delicious brown, then add the coriander and cumin powder and garam masala and mix well
- Then add the finely chopped tomato and add very little water and cook for 1 -2 minutes without lid
- Stir frequently, so as to ensure the mixture does not stick to the saucepan
- Now the spices have been thoroughly cooked along with the onion and tomato to make a thick gravy
- Cut the chicken breasts and red peppers into lenghthwise strip and add to the gravy
- Add onion salt to the mixture, red chilli powder and turmeric
- Cover and cook until done
To make the Mint and Coriander Chutney
- Wash the coriander and mint leaves, blend to a smoothpaste with a green chilli
- To reduce the heat use 1 chilli de-seeded.Add the salt and lime juice and sblend once again
- A smooth thick green paste is the consistency we are after – add some water to adjust the consistency
- This chutney stores for upto 10 days in the freezer in a clean ,air tight jar – rarely lasts that much in my house though -I love making Bombay sandwich for dinner with this delightful chutney
To make the coating for the Paratha
- Crack the eggs in a bowl and beat with a fork, add salt to taste
- Using a plastic brush spread on the surface of a frozen ready to eat paratha
- Place the eggy side down on a hot pan coated with some cooking oil
- Ready to eat frozen parathas are readily available in most supermarkets and Indian grocery stores
How to put the Frankie Roll together
- Once the paratha coated with egg has been cooked on both sides, slather it with the mint and coriander chutney and add some red onion chopped lengthwise
- Add a generous helping of the chicken filling , roll and wrap one end with some kitchen foil or baking paper. Enjoy hot
- Dip into the chutney or tomato ketchup as you munch along
After I received the samples and wrote up my flavour story, my left hand was operated on (unexpected rescheduling) – a minor but rather errrmmm painful surgery and I walk around most of the time with a sling (promptly remove it as soon as OH leaves home for work hehe) So I had a bit of a panic attack about getting this post up on time,I know I missed the deadline by a few days 🙁
But am really grateful to the kind folks up at McCormick for bearing with me. Also I would like to thank OH for patiently chopping and cutting all the fresh ingredients for me and helping me to click these lovely photographs – what would I do without you? Sighh…
The company has pledged to donate $1 to United Way Worldwide and it’s UK partner Focus on Food, for every story shared on the Schwartz website, Facebook page or other social channels.
Disclaimer: Schwartz Samples and voucher for ingredients purchase sent by McCormick I was not required to write a positive review and was not compensated monetarily for this post. As always, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.