Cliched name for a burrito I know – drives me nuts when anything desi (Indian) is termed Bollywood these days – it’s just that this is the actual name of the Indian-ised burrito I had at a Doodle and Switch cafe in Singapore recently. Doodle, a pasta bar and Switch, a salad/wrap chain recently opened a joint establishment at a mall near my office with quite some vegetarian options on the menu – enough reason for me to check it out over lunch.
Here is what their Bollywood burrito was all about – cilantro lime rice, spiced lentils (yellow pigeon peas or toor dal), cucumber salsa, Indian spiced yoghurt, and choice of tofu or roasted chicken.
It was basically dal-chawal (rice and lentils) with raita (spiced yoghurt) in a roti/chapathi (wrap). To be honest it didn’t sound or look very appetizing when I read/saw it – yellow dal with rice or yellow dal with chapathi are good by themselves but can be quite bland when you put them all together. Adding the yoghurt probably doesn’t help and only dilutes the spices further. I ordered it anyway to hopefully prove myself wrong. Chipotle – I’ve never missed you more:).
Oh well – you could blame it on my fiery Indian taste buds but then again, why call it a Bollywood (rolling my eyes) burrito if you don’t spice it right.
In any case the dish did inspire me to make my own version of Bollywood burrito – rajma chawal (kidney bean curry with rice), achar (pickle) and raita in a wrap. I thought this was the perfect desi answer to this Mexican dish.
Rajma is just the right substitute for pinto or black beans with salsa, raita for sour cream and jeera rice (cumin flavored rice) for the cilantro lime rice.
This looked good enough to be featured in Nikhil’s lunch box today:)
The Rajma and jeera rice were leftovers from the evening before so you can make them ahead of time and assemble the morning of.
Ingredients: (for making 2 wraps)
- 1 cup prepared Rajma (kidney beans curry – recipe will follow soon. This is quite a common North Indian dish best enjoyed with hot white jeera rice or with hot wheat tortillas – chapathis). Alternatively you could saute boiled kidney beans in some salsa and add some cumin powder and garam masala powder to spice it up.
- 1/2 cup Jeera rice (I used brown rice but white rice works too. Saute some brown butter or clarified butter (ghee) in a hot skillet, add 1 tsp cumin seeds. Once they sizzle add the cooked rice and a pinch of salt to taste.)
- 2 Whole wheat tortillas or wraps – I used whole wheat chia wraps but you can use any
- 4 leaves of Romaine or butterhead lettuce
- 1/2 cup Cucumber raita (chopped cucumber mixed with hung or greek yoghurt and spiced with cumin and chili powder)
- 2 pieces of Indian red chili pickle or mango pickle chopped into pieces (Available at any Indian store. This is optional if you like your burrito Indian spicy:)
- 1/2 cup sliced red onion
1. Warm the tortillas on a skillet.
2. Place 1 lettuce leaf on each tortilla.
4. Add the cucumber raita and the chopped pickle pieces.
5. Top with some onion slices.
6. Now finish with another lettuce leaf.
The lettuce leaves ensure that the burrito doesn’t get too soggy for an afternoon lunch.
Verdict – The lunch box came back clean with one comment – “it was amazing!” That doesn’t come by very often so it must have been good:) Oh and the critic also suggested that it may be good to add some paneer to the rajma. Then it truly is a desi substitute for Mexican food (I hadn’t added any alternative to Mexican cheese you see:). Good one, that. Will be trying it the next time around.