Monday, August 8, 2016

Ole once more

We have been big fans of Mexican food since way back. In fact, if I remember correctly, back when I was a student in Calcutta, I had gone out for a date with my then boyfriend and through some strange serendipity, found a tiny new restaurant that served Mexican food on the terrace of a building - quite ahead of its time. Then many years later, Rodeo opened in CP and became our hang out place for the yummy large baskets of nachos and salsa as well as their food - the Sopa de Queso was a winter favourite. I remember after they started karaoke nights, we went with a couple of friends and took over the karaoke, singing so loudly and so off-key that everyone else pretty much left. Unfortunately, Rodeo has not aged well and the last time we visited it, out of sheer nostalgia, it proved to be a major let down.

Meanwhile, on my many travels to the US, I discovered several different restaurants that served Mexican food that I hadn't eaten before. In California, I went to Baja Fresh with my sister and her family - QSR food but fresh and tasty, like Californians love. Then in Seattle, dad and I discovered a restaurant near the Pike's Place market that served fabulous vegetarian chili. You can argue that chili is more Tex than Mex, but hey, it's all good! In Minneapolis which used to be a regular haunt, I went to Masa with a friend and we gorged on fabulous food including a salsa made of tomatillos that I can still recall loving.

My youngest is a big fan and when younger, used to constantly fold his roti bites over the vegetables, calling it a 'Tayco'. A year back, we made a foiled trip to Casa Lota and when we didn't get a table, beat it to La Bodega, a very fancy Mexican restaurant in Khan Market - don't remember the food being that great but the kids loved the churros.

However in all these years, the one thing I haven't found as good as the Rodeo nachos is the nacho chips. You still get good guacamole or salsa and sour cream but the actual nacho chips are mostly never crisp enough and I frankly don't enjoy the taste of corn chips. So when setting out to make a Mexican meal at home, I decided to go for broke with nacho chips as well.

Turns out, they're really easy to make. Not that healthy, but then deep-fried...who are you trying to kid?

Basically you take a couple cups of refined flour ( good old maida), add a tablespoon of (gasp!) butter and enough water to make it into a puri-type dough. Not too stiff, nor too sticky. Remember to add salt - it needs to taste salty.

Roll out into really really thin rotis/ circles and prick holes in it using a fork. Cook on a tawa/ pan on both sides until cooked and a few brown spots appear. Set aside to cool down.

When cool, cut each roti into 8-10 pizza-slide-shaped pieces. Deep fry until brown and place to drain on paper.

Serve with salsa, guacamole and sour cream. Tequila on the side, yo!!!