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 a recipe for the Paratha Egg Sandwich, a delicious Indian street food. I have the paperback version of Wrapped, but it is also available in hardcover.
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. She received the 2000 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.
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/cheaper 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.
Disclaimer: I received this book from Interlink Books in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own.
Paratha Egg Sandwich
Adapted from Wrapped
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup lukewarm water, as needed
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, plus extra for oiling
4 tablespoons melted ghee, butter, or neutral oil
Vegetable oil for cooking
4 eggs, divided
Salt to taste
Turmeric to taste
Ground cumin to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2-4 green chilies, thinly sliced, divided
1 large onion, finely chopped, divided
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped, divided
To make the parathas: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Mix in the water and vegetable oil until a soft dough comes together. Cover with plastic or a damp cloth and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, lightly knead the dough and divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll a piece into a rectangle about 12×5 inches. Brush with ghee and sprinkle with flour. Roll up long end to long end, then shape into a coil, tucking the end under the bottom. Place on an oiled plate and repeat with remaining pieces. Cover lightly and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
Cover a plate with a towel and place a large pan over medium heat.
On a lightly floured surface, roll a spiral of dough into a thin circle about 8 1/2 inches wide. Place on the heated pan and brush the top with ghee. Once bubbles begin to form and the bottom is golden in spots, flip and cook the other side for another minute. Be careful not to overcook or they will harden. Transfer to a cloth and punch lightly with your fist to help loosen the layers before placing on towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining spirals of dough.
Cover to keep warm while the eggs are prepared.
To make the sandwiches: Place a large pan over medium heat and drizzle with a little oil.
In a small bowl, whisk one egg with salt and pepper to taste, 1/8-1/4 teaspoon turmeric, and 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cumin. Stir in 1/4 of the sliced chilies, onion, and cilantro.
Pour the egg into the heated pan, tilting to spread it. Cook until set and golden on the bottom, then flip and cook until golden on other side.
Place on warm paratha and repeat with remaining eggs and ingredients. Roll up the parathas filled with the egg omelet and serve immediately.