Kathi rolls, a popular street food in India, are made by rolling vegetables or meat in roti, an Indian flat bread. In her fabulous take on the recipe, Padma Lakshmi wraps flour tortillas around a succulent filling of ground turkey, fresh ginger, curry and basil, then pan-fries the rolls until crispy for decadent hors d'oeuvres that can be eaten as finger food.
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1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for frying
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons minced, peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1/2 teaspoon amchoor (see Note), optional
3/4 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced basil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Sixteen 6-inch flour tortillas, warmed
Mint-and-Date Dipping Sauce
How to Make It
In a large skillet, heat the 1 1/2 tablespoons of canola oil. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and amchoor and cook, stirring, until the spices become fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the turkey and soy sauce and cook, breaking up the meat, until no trace of pink remains in the turkey, about 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and lemon juice and season with salt.
In a medium saucepan, heat 2 inches of canola oil to 350° over moderately high heat. Lay a tortilla on a work surface and spoon 2 tablespoons of the turkey filling across the lower third of it. Roll the tortilla around the filling, folding in the sides as you roll. Secure the rolls with 2 toothpicks. Repeat to form the remaining rolls.
Fry the rolls 3 or 4 at a time, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels. Remove the toothpicks and serve the rolls with the Mint-and-Date Dipping Sauce.
Amchoor, dried mango powder, adds a distinctive tart flavor to foods. It's available at Indian markets and from kalustyans.com.
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