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Sunday, September 20, 2009

sweet potato wraps

One might term this dish "weeknight" dosa.

One might think of flour tortillas as dosa's fat, balding cousin.

Subbing tortillas for the delicate, lacy crepes of which dosa are traditionally made is, without a doubt, cheating. I happen to know, however, that a similar shortcut is practiced by a certain Indian restaurant that sells fantastic samosas to my dad's store, which, on cold market Saturdays, are snatched off the shelves by noon. Customers clamor for the pockets of potatoes and curried peas, the deep fried tortilla crusts go unnoticed, if not adored.

Somehow, knowing this secret makes me feel less dirty.

Tortillas brushed with a cumin-infused roux will hardly offer the crisp crack of an authentic dosa. The tortillas were a little gummy, and lacking that satisfying give a properly browned crepe offers. But having neither fermented rice flour, nor any real knowledge of South Indian cooking, these wraps were a hearty, tasty weeknight substitute for a meal normally reserved for special occasions. [Like Christmas 2008. My dad doesn't know a christmas turkey from a christmas tagine, and so we ate rice cakes at Udupi Cafe in Cincinnati with the Indians and Jews on December 25th of last year].

Provided that you can stomach a little cultural inauthenticity, these wraps are complex, flavorful and fast.

masala sweet potato wraps

1 large sweet potato, cubed
2 large leeks
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. ginger
mustard seeds, toasted
2 tortillas
a small bowl of water combined with 2 tbsp of flour, a bit of cumin, tumeric and mustard seeds, mixed to a thin paste

Parboil sweet potatoes for 5-7 minutes, or until tender. Heat oil in a pan, saute garlic and ginger, and when garlic sizzles, add leeks. Add in cooked sweet potatoes, and top with turmeric and mustard seeds. Set aside.

Brush tortillas with paste. Heat a large skillet with a good amount of oil until sizzles when a drop of water is added. Fry tortillas until they are browned on both sides. Spread with coconut chutney and add sweet potato filling.

lazy american coconut chutney

2 tbsp grated coconut, chopped fine
1 tbsp coconut milk
1 tsp mustard seeds, toasted and popped
dash curry powder
dash red pepper flakes
bit of salt

mix ingredients together until they are a thick paste, and spread on dosas before adding filling.

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