Meat me halfway: Meat and Potato Roti!

Jul 16, 2015

Easy, greasy, and delicious: my 3 favourite words. I’m not an avid meat-eater, as you can probably tell, but my brother’s meaty mid-week kitchen experiment had me drooling. He was fiddling around with the pride of our Hungarian bloodline - meat and potatoes - giving these classic ingredients an East-Indian twist in the form of roti. Missing out on the breading, all that was left for me was a crispy brown layer of filling at the bottom of the pot. Unperturbed, I single-handedly scraped the pot clean. I wanted more, and fast, and I was promised some with a catch: this roti-round would be a family affair - the boy would make the filling if I would make the shell (last time it was from a box). It’s funny - I had seriously considered converting to a full-fledged vegetarian this week. That is, until I tried the sausage and potato roti, when I decided to postpone my plans indefinitely.

Have you ever been to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair? It was at that enormous event last November that my eyes were pried open to the world of Ontario’s agricultural wonders. In this province we have herds of prize-winning velvet-haired livestock, so it’s no wonder why 44% of Greenbelt farms are livestock farms. If you live in Durham region, meat might be your best friend. That’s because Durham houses that majority of cattle farms in the Greenbelt. So, whether you prefer beef or pork, chicken or goat, you don’t have to stray far to find it. We happened to have beef sausage for this recipe, but you can easily swap your choice of meat in this tasty dish. Or, if you are vegetarian (or decide to be!), simply omit the meat for an equally delicious meal.

Meat and Potato Roti

8 Potatoes
1 Medium red onion, sliced
1 Sweet red pepper, diced
4 Cloves garlic, chopped
4 Beef sausages (spicy or regular)
Oil for cooking
3 Cups water (approximately)
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. sesame oil
Assortment of spices: curry powder, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, ground coriander, mystery spices
Salt and pepper to taste

Roti shell
2 cups flour
1 cup water (approximately)
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking

Roti Shell
1. Sift flour into a large bowl. Add salt.
2. Add water slowly, mixing the flour and water to get a dough forming.
3. Keep adding water and kneading the ingredients until you have a nice solid ball of dough, fully mixed.
4. Roll dough into a ball, and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

Roti Filling
1. Peel, cube, and boil potatoes until soft. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large pot, saute onion and garlic.
3. Add potato and red pepper to the pot.
4. In a separate pan, fry up you sausage in lots of oil.
5. When sausages are cooked, cut them into small pieces and dump them with the oil into the pot of potatoes
6. Now it’s time to improvise! Add as much or as little spice as you like. We used a method of guesswork more than anything, but the main spices we chose are those listed above. Approximately 1.5 tbsp. garam masala, 1 tbsp. turmeric, etc. Play around with spices to get your preferred level of flavour.
7. Add vinegar and sesame oil.
8. Add about half a cup of water to the pot, and let the ingredients absorb the water slowly. What you are aiming for is a stew-like mixture, so keep adding a bit of water and let it get absorbed by the potatoes. You should repeat this step 3 or 4 times until some of the potato turns to mush. Perfection!

Next Steps
1. Divide your dough into 8 small balls.
2. On a well-floured surface, roll each ball of dough as thin as possible.
3. If you have a special flat pan for roti, use that, but if not, any frying pan should be just fine. Heat up a bit of oil in your pan, and make sure it’s very hot. Carefully lay down a roti shell in the center of the pan, and cook for about 30 seconds - 1 minute on each side. You are aiming for the shell to get browned slightly, and to see some of the characteristic bubbles often seen in roti shells.
4. After you’ve cooked all your shells, scoop a bit of filling into each one, roll up, and dig in!

Here’s a tasty idea: if you’ve got leftovers, try frying/scrambling up and egg, and make breakfast rotis!
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