Mumbai no Frankie

Even though one might be intimidated and concerned about the hygiene issue, street food has always drawn me to it. I love the idea of just walking down the street, getting hungry and being able to grab a quick bite without having to stop in a restaurant. There are no table manners or formal attire but the air is always casual and it’s just about the food.
Call it fast food or junk food, I dont care, street food has managed to win a lot of hearts.
Food is an absolutely vital part of the travel experience. The key to understanding a places´ culture and history often lies in its cuisine. While many globetrotters choose to do this by booking a table at a popular tourist trap restaurant, I have always been of the belief  that in order to find the best food in a new place, one often has to take to the streets. Some of the most delicious food I have experienced while travelling has been on the streets no matter what time  of the day. I especially remember the bustling food market at night in the Forodhani Gardens down by the ferry terminal in Stone town Zanzibar. It was churlish to cross the threshold to the then smart restaurant Blues without sampling some street food first. My list of Stone Town’s best eats would not be complete without mention of the night market.
Not only is eating street food an easy and inexpensive way to fill your stomach, but it also opens the door to a whole world of utter deliciousness. From stainless steel push carts and dubious-looking night market stalls, to kiosks and the backs of bicycles, you’ll often find that the best local cuisine is being made by a local on the street rather than a big-name chain or celebrity-helmed restaurant. From the truly American hot dog to a Neapolitan pizza slice, a Breton buckwheat galette, a bag of Belgian pommes frites, a gelato, a
vada pav or a bacon naan roll if you ever find yourself in India.
The Frankie is one of the most loved of all! To many experiencing rush hour in Mumbai a
roadside samosa stand would be a prayer answered. Eating roadside food is no doubt an enjoyable experience, but not healthy and as I have already said not the most hygienic. So a far preferential alternative is  to make it at home with good quality ingredients without compromising the taste. Indian and Asian street food is surprisingly adaptable to a domestic situation, particularly the parcelled type, rolled wrapped or folded. At home it need not be just a snack. It is good whatever time of day you serve it. Breakfast, lunch or dinner a frankie is always sure to satisfy your Indian food cravings.I stumbled on this  Indian Frankie roll and found it one of the tastiest ways to pretend that I was travelling again.It transported me to the busy streets of Mumbai. This one time bestselling street snack which can be vegetarian or otherwise depending on what filling you decide upon, despite being overtaken by American junk food,is still a favourite on the streets of Mumbai.

The original,Tibbs Frankie
Traditionally, whole wheat roti or chapati is filled with spiced mashed potato, green chutney, chopped onions, pickled green chilies, and frankie masala. Nowadays the street kiosks offer a myriad of fillings to suit all tastes. You could call it an ‘Indian burrito’ or ‘Bombay burrito’ or ‘Indian wrap’. Technically it is not a burrito, but because it is wrapped like a burrito and looks very similar you can call it such.

There may be a few steps (different elements) to make a frankie at home. But I am telling you it is easy to make and end result is so worth it. The word frankie means roll or wrap in India so to make life simpler, instead of making rotis, I have substituted tortilla wraps. This will cut the cooking time in almost half and yet still tastes fantastic.  I have opted for a spiced vegetable filling but you could use any type of meat or vegetarian filling you choose. You could add Lamb, cheese, cauliflower, minced beef. There´s a whole world of Frankies to choose from. Just look at the Frankie menu 

Vegetarian Frankie
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 potato (about 150g) finely diced
1 carrot (about 100g) finely diced
100g frozen peas
2 tsp curry powder or your own spices according to taste
100ml vegetable stock

To make the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic, mix in the spices and fry for 10 mins until soft. Add the vegetables, seasoning and stir well until coated. Add the stock, cover and simmer for 30 mins until cooked. Leave to cool. 

To make the Frankies: beat the eggs well and add 2 tablespoons of water. Add a pinch of salt and, if you like, a pinch of chilli powder. Heat a little oil, butter or ghee in a cast iron frying pan, tava or griddle pan over a medium heat. Swirl round (there should be just enough to coat the pan). Pour off excess. Add a tortilla or chapatti to the pan and pour a little egg on the top, enough to just coat the surface. You may like to brush the egg on instead though the Indians definitely prefer a thicker coating of egg. The omelette-like taste of the chapatti enhances the flavour of the Frankie.
As soon as you see the egg coagulating flip it over and coat the other side. Then flip again.
When both sides are golden brown remove on to a plate and keep warm. Wipe out the pan, add a little more oil, butter or ghee, reheat then repeat the whole wiping, greasing and cooking process with the remaining tortillas and egg.
Place one tablespoon of the filling, or more if required, along one side of an egg covered tortilla. Sprinkle with chilli jam or chutney, chopped coriander and mint, and roll up. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and and serve.


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