The burrito works extremely well with South Asian cooking.
The humble burrito is the quintessential tex-mex comfort food.
A whole dinner wrapped conveniently inside a tortilla wrap, it offers endless customisation options and is a great use of leftovers.
But why stick with Mexican cuisine? The sky’s the limit, and the burrito works extremely well with South Asian cooking.
DESIblitz shows you how to make use of your leftovers to assemble a hearty handheld fast food.
What Type of Dish to Use?
For ease of consumption, the best dishes for a burrito are ones that aren’t too wet.
Sauce is important, of course, as you don’t want a dry, carb heavy meal either. But you also don’t want cascades of curry sauce down your arms and pooling in your lap.
We use an adaptation of a classic Bangladeshi chicken and potato curry.
South Asian fusion burrito (serves 5, prep time 15 minutes, cooking time 30 minutes)
- 500-600g of chicken thighs, deboned and diced
- 2 medium onions finely sliced
- 3-4 medium potatoes
- 1 inch of fresh ginger, minced
- 5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4-5 bay leaves
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- 4-5 whole cloves
- 4-5 cardomom pods
- 1/4 teaspoon of garam masala
- 1 heaped teaspoon curry powder
- 1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander
- 1-2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons tumeric
- In a pot, combine onions, garlic, ginger and hard spices. Cook on a low heat until the onions are translucent.
- Next, add the ground spices, mix well and cook for five minutes, add a small amount of water to the mixture.
- Add the chicken and potatoes, mix well to ensure they are well coated with the spices. Cook for a further five minutes on a low heat.
- Cover the mix in freshly boiled water, mix and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.
Assembling your Burrito
- Your curry dish, preferably one day old
- Wholemeal tortilla wraps
- 1/2 cup of basmati rice
- 3 tablespoons low fat plain yogurt
- Fresh coriander
- Fresh mint
- 1/2 lime
- 2 inches of cucumber, finely diced
- Mango chutney
- Before assembly, cook your rice, drain and leave to one side.
- Reheat your leftover curry dish.
- Make a Raita with the mint, cucumber, yogurt and the juice of half a lime.
- When the rice has settled a bit, add some finely chopped coriander, salt and pepper and mix well.
- Place your tortilla on a flat, clean surface, preferably a chopping board. Put a spoonful of rice in the centre of the wrap.
- Add a spoonful of curry on top of the rice. Place about two teaspoons of Raita on top. Add a teaspoon of mango chutney.
- To wrap the burrito, first tuck in the sides of the tortilla, tucking it around the mixture as though you were tucking a small child into bed.
- Fold the bottom of the tortilla up over the mixture, using a tablespoon to tuck any loose mixture back in.
- For the top of the tortilla, first fold the sides in to form a triangle.
- Roll the burrito from bottom to top up over the top flap.
- If preparing for later use, you can do this on a sheet of aluminium, which can help keep the burrito in one piece. Otherwise, you can seal the open edge of the burrito shut in a dry pan over a medium heat.
A couple of caveats for this recipe. First, if you are using the recipe above make sure before you assemble it that you take out the cloves and cardamom pods.
Second, the recipe above is quite mild, by comparison to other dishes, but it is only one of many possible recipes. Matar Keema works with this, and if you like heat, our chicken karahi recipe is an excellent choice.
In an act of insurmountable culinary heresy, a spoonful of Chinese crunchy chilli oil gives this burrito an excellent burst of flavour, but for milder dishes it is advised to leave this out, as you might overpower the subtle flavours.
Essentially, this is one of those no-wrong-answers kind of recipes.
The immediacy and elasticity of the burrito means that you could put potentially anything into it. Want some spaghetti in your burrito? Knock yourself out. Want to make it dessert based? Why not!
The rule of thumb for a great burrito is to recognise what flavour combinations go well together. Figure that out and you’ll be the king of your own kitchen.