When I have an idea in mind, I can not rest easy until I execute on it. One such idea was variations on the Vietnamese Spring rolls. I wanted to try making an Indian version, I thought it would go really well with the concept.But before we talk about that recipe, let me tell you my first encounter with these spring rolls.
The first time I ate these spring rolls when I was pregnant with my first child. I had a terrible time with the morning sickness and could not keep anything down. Around that time we were invited to my husband’s colleagues wedding reception. The bride and groom both were of Vietnamese origin and so at the celebrations the food served was Vietnamese.
Forget eating and enjoying, I could not even stand the smell of most of those things. It had a lot of fish sauce,and all kinds of meat. Everyone tried to see what I can eat, offered so many things but nothing felt right at that time. Then someone got these interesting looking things that they called ‘Spring rolls’. They were nothing like the ones I knew from back in India. They did not look fried and almost looked transparent. I loved those..I loved the fresh basil and mint and the crunchy bean sprouts… it was perfect.
I have been making these for a while now and love making variations.
Today’s variation has a Indian touch. The meat used is the pickled chicken, I think it compliments the fresh mint and cilantro.
This recipe for the Achari chicken is a perfect addition to the fresh ingredients of the spring roll. You can also use chicken tikka or any other nicely seasoned meat. I have made this with marinated Tofu/Paneer to make the vegetarian/vegan version. It tastes just as well.
- 3/4 lb boneless Chicken ( for vegetarian option use Tofu/Paneer)
- 2 ½ tablespoons Achari Masala
- 1/4 lb Hung Yogurt (this is basically yogurt hung in a cheese cloth)
- 1 tablespoon refined flour
- 2 tablespoons Mustard Oil
- Bean Sprouts
- Few green lettuce leaves
- Thin rice noodles, cooked according to the packet
- Julienned carrot
- Few mint leaves
- Few cilantro leaves
- Few Rice paper sheets
- Heat Mustard Oil in a 10 inch nonstick pan until it smokes.
- Add Achari Masala to the pan. Cook the spice mix for 20 seconds, then remove from heat. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- In a glass bowl, mix yogurt and cooked spices well. Make sure to include the oil.
- Cut cubes of chicken & marinate it with the pickled curd marinade for minimum 60 mins.
Now cook the chicken on medium flame, add refined flour and cook for 8-10 mins. Once cooked evenly, keep it aside.
Dip the rice paper in cold water for 5 seconds. Take it out and shake off the excess water. Make sure you use cold water and also don’s leave the rice paper in the water for too long. Although when you take it out, it might still feel stiff but it does soften up.
Lay the wet rice paper flat on a board. Layer all the ingredients. In works the best to start with a piece of lettuce, this helps provide a base and stability to the roll. Now continue with the rice noodles, Chicken, sprouts, carrots, cilantro, mint.
Now roll like a burrito making sure that no vegetables are poking out. We want our spring roll to look pretty.
Make sure that you keep these covered so they don’t dry out.
Cut in half and serve. Depending on the flavor of the chicken you can pair with the right sauce. For example when I make it with an indian flavored chicken, I serve it with a Tamarind-date chutney.