So once again girlfriend comes home at 11:30 in the night and says “Feed me!” There’s some smoked salmon in the freezer, and some Philly-style cream cheese and rocket leaves in the fridge. The answer to the culinary dilemma of ‘What should I cook?’ seems simple enough.
But hunger pangs wait not for salmon to defrost and need to assuaged immediately. So, I hastily rummaged through the cavernous drawer which contains a cornucopia of forgotten food. There’s always something inside which can be cooked up instantly, even though I’ve forgotten that I put it there.
Just as I pulled out a packet of papads and idea struck me; an idea which had nothing to do with smoked salmon but was inspired by two meetings I had had earlier in the day. At lunch I had met a Mexican entrepreneur who wanted my feedback on a quick service restaurant chain that he was planning to start. Immediately after that I interviewed a Parsi artisanal cheese maker; I had sampled some of his cheeses earlier in the week and three containers, including one of crème fraîche were also sitting in my fridge.
I pulled out the remnants of roast beef from the freezer, chopped up the vegetables for a pico de gallo (fancy Mexican way of saying kachumbar) and in about 15 minutes the first Lijjat Taco rolled out. There were so good that in the next 20 minutes the grateful girlfriend finished off 4 more tacos!
4 papads (whatever flavour you prefer)
6 tbsp crème fraîche (if you don’t have crème fraîche, then substitute with thick, hung curd)
2 slices of slightly spicy roast beef per taco (about 3 tbsp)
For the pico de gallo
3 tbsp onion, chopped
1 tsp lime juice
5 tbsp tomatoes, chopped
3 tsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
¾ tsp fresh green chilli, minced
pinch of salt
For the pico de gallo
Mix the chopped onion with the lime juice and keep aside.
After about 5 minutes, when the onion has softened slightly, mix in the remaining vegetables.
Finally, toss in the salt and mix well.
Keep in the fridge to chill.
(If you want the pico to be even spicier, prepare a couple of hours in advance. The longer the mixture sits with the green chillies, the more pungent it becomes.)
Heat the roast beef in a microwave or frying pan. Cut into thin strips.
In a frying pan or tawa dry roast the papads. When they are cooked but still hot and pliable, carefully fold them gently to form a shell. The papads are going to be really hot and you need to hold them in your hands till they harden so this step will involve some discomfort and pain.
Arrange the roast beef strips at the bottom of the papad shell. Top evenly with about a 1½ tbsp of crème fraîche and about 1½ tbsp of pico de gallo.
Serve, and eat immediately.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Makes 4 tacos