THE Story of KOTHU PAROTTA
Ahhh Kothu Parotta... this is what I call street food with a zing!
A very special street food especially famous in my city of Chennai - the Kothu Parotta and its ingredients constitutes a very sumptuous meal. But, even more notable than its beautiful colors, aroma and taste is the sounds associated with making this dish.
Yes! The clinging and clanging of the steel/iron spatula on top of the hot cast iron - that is what I remember with the most nostalgia when I think about Kothu Parotta.
Kothu in my mother tongue (Tamil) indicates the loud, noisy motion with which the steel spatula is used to mix the various ingredients of this dish.
And those main ingredients include, layered flat bread (parotta) that is minced and mixed with all the vegetables and eggs (optional).
So to appease my uncontrollable urge after thinking about all this, I decided to make my own Kothu Parotta.
First, I sautéd on a (very) hot cast iron vessel, the onions, bell peppers, carrots with ginger, garlic, green chillies and the spices (cumin powder, asafoetida, coriander powder, turmeric, chilli powder and salt). Then, while the cast iron is still hot, I added the (finely) minced parotta (I bought the Pillsbury ready made Paratha at the Indian store) to it. Though I did not have the exact steel spatulas and cast iron I have seen on the streets of Chennai, my utensils were sufficient to take care of the job.
The best part of this dish is that several different vegetables can be used, I just chose to pick the aforementioned vegetables.
Also, eggs can be scramled along with the vegetables if you prefer - and then it is called Muttai (Egg) Kothu Parotta.
The WINE paired with the Kothu Parotta
Kothu parotta absolutely requires a wine with a decent amount of weight (body) and yet enough acidity to balance the tomatoes and wash down the spices, oh and no oak whatsoever!
So, it was no surprise why I chose to buy the Zafeirakis rose made from the Limniona region (in Thessaly, Greece).
This rose was very unique from several other Roses I have tasted; I say this because, it had an amazing body that is atypical to most Roses!
The very first flavor notes that hit me were of strawberries and ripe red raspberries.
For a minute I almost felt like sipping on a Sharbat.
The other remarkably prominent flavors were that of - believe it or not, bay leaves!
Wow! that was a mind blowing rose for just under 10 bucks!
I licked my first spoonful Parotta off the spoon and sipped on some Greek vino.
The weight of the rose married in to the bold flavors of the parotta perfectly. The rose had sufficient fruits and acidity to wash down the coriander and chilli flavors. And, the bay leaf flavor just wrapped around the earthiness of the cilantro and cumin flavors beautifully.
In a nut shell, I felt all these mixed feelings all at the same time - the waves of nostalgia with the sights, sounds, aroma and taste of the Parotta combined with the kaleidoscope of flavors from the vino!
Almost made me forget my present settings....and transformed me to this place that served hot parottas and chilled roses that I could just enjoy wearing flip flops on a beautiful serene Greek island!
Well, what did I know? Indian street food and wine pairings are an 'out-of-body' experience! :)