Wrapped: Crêpes, Wraps, and Rolls from Around the World, written by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra, highlights savory and sweet filled dishes from a variety of cultures including Bulgogi from Korea, Satay Lilit Ayam (Ground Chicken Satay) from Bali, Middle Eastern Lamb Shawarma, Jamaican Beef Patties, Galician Tuna Pie, Banh Xeo (Sizzling Rice Cakes) from Vietnam, Crêpes Suzette from France, and Filipino Turron (Banana Spring Rolls). I will also be sharing her recipe for the Paratha Egg Sandwich following the review. I have the paperback version of Wrapped, but it is also available in hardcover.
Disclosure: I received this book from Interlink Books in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra is a food historian and freelance translator. She was born in Guyana to a Guyanese Hindu-Indian family. She studied Political Science and Modern Languages in Halifax, Canada, spent a year in Salamanca, Spain, and now lives in Holland with her husband. In 2000, she received the Sophie Coe Award for food history and is also the author these award-winning cookbooks: Warm Bread and Honey Cake (2010 Guild of Food Writers Award for Cookbook of the Year), Windmills in My Oven, Sugar and Spice, and Het Nederlands Bakboek (Dutch Cookery Book of the Year Award 2012).
Chapters are divided based on type of wrap: Bases & Batters, Wraps & Rolls, Pastries & Stuffed Snacks, Savory Cakes & Fritters, Pancakes & Griddle Cakes, Relishes & Accompaniments, and Sweet Suggestions.
The first chapter focuses on the various breads used as the base for the rest of the book from flatbreads and wraps to those that are fried or stuffed. The instructions are easy to follow and there are also variations noted along with the cultural background and serving ideas.
Gaitri features an assortment of popular and lesser-known dishes. I love the particular focus on Caribbean food. Measurements are provided in US Customary with the name of the dish listed in English and the original language where applicable. Headnotes are included with background information, serving ideas, and tips.
Photography is provided by Keiko Oikawa. Most of the recipes are accompanied by a beautifully-styled photo of the finished dish, usually full-page. As a note, there are no step-by-step photos.
This book is a great choice for those looking for wraps and rolls with an international flair. Dishes range from simple to complex. There is also a nice balance of meats, seafood, vegetables, and sweets. Most of the ingredients are readily available in the average American grocery store, but a few may require a trip to the international food market or purchasing online. Some of the more difficult-to-find ingredients include egg roll wrappers, nigella seeds and other spices, surimi crab sticks, fine semolina, tamarind, chickpea flour, saltfish, and bean thread noodles. Gaitri also discusses many of the ingredients and how to use them plus helpful utensils.
Paratha Egg Sandwich
This Paratha Egg Sandwich (Indian Egg Roll) is a popular Indian street food perfect for a snack or breakfast on-the-go. Homemade paratha flatbreads are heated on a skillet until cooked through, but still pliable. They are topped with a seasoned egg omelet, then rolled up with desired toppings. Stuffing the egg inside the paratha (Anda Paratha) is also common.
These sandwiches were a huge hit with the kids. I love how customizable they are. I kept Evan’s omelet on the plain side with only salt, pepper, turmeric, and cumin. Claire liked everything in hers with a lighter touch on the green chilies. I can definitely see these being perfect for packing in their lunches as they get older.
The paratha bread can be made ahead of time and warmed right before serving. The dough is easy to work with and handle. Each piece is rolled into a thin rectangle, then brushed with ghee or butter. It is rolled up and coiled, then flattened and rolled out again. The extra step of rolling and coiling helps produce the beautiful, flaky texture.
I folded the sandwiches in half to help show off the filling, but they can also be rolled up crêpe-style for easy handling on-the-go.
I also made Guyanese Chicken Curry, Galettes Bretonnes, Guacamole, and Gundel Palacsinta (Hungarian Walnut Cream Crêpes with Chocolate Sauce).
The Guyanese Chicken Curry was a new recipe to me. Bite-sized pieces of chicken are simmered with onions and potatoes in a curry garam masala sauce. They are served with homemade Dosti Rotis. This dish is a popular street food and I love how easy it is to put together with only a handful of ingredients.
Galettes Bretonnes is a French buckwheat crepe from Breton. This Galette Complète is filled with ham, an egg, and Gruyère cheese. My crepes came out a little darker than the photo due to the type of buckwheat flour available in America (the European version is lighter), but it was still quite delicious. This was a wonderful way to start the morning.
In addition to the variety of wraps and rolls, Gaitri also has a chapter on accompaniments. I had some extra avocados that needed to be used, so I tried the guacamole. It was delicious and so much better and less expensive than buying from the store. Looking for more ways to use avocados? She also has a recipe for Avocado Salad right next to the guacamole.
Gundel Palacsinta has been on my list for a while and I am so glad I finally tried it. These sweet Hungarian crêpes are filled with a walnut spread with cinnamon and orange, then drizzled with chocolate. I love that Gaitri provided reheating instructions in case you want to make them ahead for an easy breakfast/snack/dessert.
Looking for more wraps? Try my Bajan Chicken and Potato Roti, Breakfast Burritos, and Grilled Chicken Naan Wraps with Roasted Red Pepper Tahini Sauce.
Paratha Egg Sandwich Recipe
Excerpt from Wrapped
Paratha Egg Sandwich
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dredging and dusting
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2/3 cup lukewarm water or as needed
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil plus extra for oiling
- 4 tablespoons melted butter, ghee, or neutral-tasting oil
Paratha Egg Sandwich:
- 4 eggs
- Salt to taste
- Turmeric to taste
- Ground cumin to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2-4 Green chilis thinly sliced
- 1 fairly large onion finely chopped
- Small handful cilantro leaves roughly chopped
- Neutral tasting oil for cooking
- Make a soft and pliable dough from the first 5 ingredients. Shape into a ball and put in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and leave at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Re-knead lightly and divide into 4 pieces. Oil a dinner plate. Roll out a piece of dough to a rectangle roughly 12x5 inches. Brush with fat and dredge with flour. This is important or you won't get nice layers! Roll up Swiss-roll style and shape into a coil, tucking the end underneath. Put it on the oiled plate and cover loosely with plastic wrape. Shape the rest in the same way. Leave for 30 minutes.
- Put a second plate near the stove. Invert a spoon on it and cover with a dish towel; have a second towel handy. Heat a dry griddle (tawa) or a heavy-based frying pan.
- Roll out the spiral to a circle about 8 1/2 inch in diameter, dusting with flour as needed. Slap it onto the tawa. Brush the top lightly with fat, then after a minute or so, flip it over and brush the second side. Cook on both sides, pressing regularly with a spatula, until small golden flecks appear. Depending on your cooking utensil and heat source, this takes a minute or two. Overcooking will make them crisp and hard.
- Transfer the paratha to the second dish towel and wrap loosely. Bash it with your fist a few times in various positions, or press with a crumpling movement, to loosen the layers. Transfer to the dish towel on the plate and fold to cover it. Cook the rest in the same way.
- Eat fresh, preferably warm, or freeze for later, well wrapped. To reheat, wrap in a few layers of paper towels and reheat in short bursts in the microwave. If left in too long, they will become tough.
To make the Paratha Egg Sandwich:
- Make the parathas and keep them warm, folded in the dish towel, while you prepare the omelets.
- In a small bowl, whisk an egg with salt to taste (on the generous side), 1/8-1/4 teaspoon each of turmeric and cumin, and a good grind of black pepper. Mix in a quarter of the chili, onion, and cilantro leaves.
- Heat some oil in a (nonstick) frying pan and pour in the egg mixture, shaking the pan to spread it. Cook until set and lightly browned on the base; then flip over and brown lightly on the second side.
- If you want to serve all 4 at once, keep the omelet warm and cook the rest. As soon as the last omelet is cooked, slide it onto a warmed paratha, roll up, and eat warm.