Ever since we reached our thirties, my husband and I have been subject to guerrilla wars and coups every year. The year begins with The revenge of the parathas that we have tucked into all winter.
By May we usually manage to suppress, if not uproot the paratha guerrillas that have subjugated us and fashioned unsightly bulges on our persons.
It is a true moment of pride therefore, when we manage to fit into our swim wear without looking like aliens.
We then resolve to swim away the last of the bulges and slip into complacence.
We are blissfully unaware therefore that as we swim - another coup is gathering on the sidelines - The conspiracy of deep fried junk food.
These conniving soldiers station themselves innocuously next to all swimming pools. The samosas , aloo bondas , French fries, and cheese balls are the first cousins of the parathas and they have their vendetta chalked out.
They demurely perch in their cases as we walk in. Then as we are on our sixth lap and our stomachs are just beginning to growl, they leap into the oil to entice us with their aroma. By the time we are out of the changing room, they have won the war. We the pro food democracy champions, firm believers in balanced diets, are overthrown by the evil conspiracy of the junk food.
This summer however parental instincts were ruling. We had our daughter to protect. We didn’t want her to suffer the anguish of jumping in and out of overweight categories forever. So I devised a counter attack. A delicious (healthy) snack would stand guard in the changing room as we swam. It would faithfully jump in to sacrifice its life to satiate our growling monster stomachs as soon as we got there. With our greed satiated we would then be armed against the coup awaiting us outside.
Today’s recipe is a tribute to the faithful snacks that have fortified us against summer long coups.
I cheat a good bit. So instead of making or buying tortillas I just use leftover roti.
My filling varies every day –
Day 1 – Boiled chicken shredded from the bone and seasoned with salt and pepper.
Day 2 – stir fried bell peppers, simply seasoned with salt and pepper
Day 3 – shredded chicken stir fried with some tomatoes and onions until done and seasoned with salt
Day 4 – egg bhurji
Day 5 – Left over chicken noodles from the previous day’s dinner. This was the biggest hit. There after I’ve decided to smuggle away a bit of all favourite dinners to fill my Desi Quesadillas the next day.
Heat the tawa and grease it with a few drops of oil
Place the roti on the tawa and place the filling on one half of the roti
If you have grated cheese handy, line the edge of the filling and thereby the edge of the filled half of the roti with grated cheese.
Now fold the roti in half to cover the filling. Press the edges together with a spatula or spoon
The cheese along the edge of the roti melts in a few seconds and the semicircle sticks along the perimeter
Flip the folded roti over once the edges stick together and fry the other side as well.
Both the sides should be crisp.
Take the roti off the tawa and allow it to cool slightly and then cut it up into three pieces.
You are now armed to overthrow any coup. Feast on!!!!
(If you don’t have cheese at hand you could make a paste of flour and water and stick the edges with this.)