Bombay Chowpatty: Vegetable Paneer Frankies with Mango Chutney

Bollywood Cooking - Indian Street Food

Paneer Frankies (01a) by MeetaK


I think it would be safe to say that the most authentic of Indian cuisines is the huge array of lip smacking street food. For just a few rupees one can purchase hot, fresh and simply delectable snacks sold by vendors from myriad makeshift or portable stalls.

Street food in India is extremely popular, mainly because they are available at half the price compared to any restaurant food. Be it take-out food, junk food, snacks, or fast food - all are synonymous with street food and all of these can be purchased on any foot path, beach-side or road corner.

The street food in India is a fusion of various flavors, stimulating the taste buds of not only the locals but also the tourists visiting the country. You will find these portable stalls in every locality and neighborhood in any Indian metropolitan city. The snacks are prepared right there in front of your eyes, tempting you visually and with the wonderful spicy aromas. In fact some of the vendors gain such a reputation for their snacks that people will journey far to experience the food from a specific vendor.

Indian street food varies from region to region. Depending where you are in India, you will be offered such a huge selection of scrumptious snacks, each prepared more temptingly then the other.

The quintessential North Indian snack found almost everywhere is Chaat - a common name for all tangy, spicy and not all that nutritious delicacies. The tangy flavor comes from the use of lemon, pomegranate seeds, black salt and tamarind. An all time favorite, made of crispy small pancakes, salted and sprinkled with a variety of masala powders, splashed with yogurt and drenched in different chutneys. My mouth is watering just thinking about this. There is a fruity version of the chaat too - prepared with seasonal fruits, especially guavas, bananas, apples and papayas. I remember enjoy bowlfuls of this when I visited my grandparents in Delhi during summer break.

The Eastern part of India offers a potato patty dipped in a flour batter and deep fried. They are served with chutneys, raw onions and cucumber slices.

Traveling to the West, the Vada Pav is one of the most favorite and cheapest snacks found in the sophisticated metropolis Mumbai. Also known as the "poor man's burger" it is a sensational mashed potato patty, spiced with green chilies, gingers and other spices, then dipped is a batter made of herbs and gram flour. Finally it is sandwiched between soft buns and drizzled with hot and sweet chutneys. Simply irresistible. One of my favorites from this region is the Bhelpuri. Puffed rice served with a spicy mixture of chopped potatoes, onion, coriander leaves, green chilies and tomatoes, then topped with sweet
chutney, a dash of lime juice, sprinkled with rock salt, normal salt and a hint of red chili powder. Drooling yet?

In the south you will find several thattukadas, which are covered carts or vans with stoves and utensils. Here you can indulge in some of the most delicious dosas, a light rice-flour crispy pancake fired in coconut oil and served with a spicy potato filling and coconut chutney.

There are so many types of street foods that the space in this post is just not enough. Warm samosas with a hot masala chai, sweet dripping jalebis. The list is long!

These popular types of street food have to be eaten fresh and as soon as they are prepared. Each region offers it's own local flavor making it unique. Locals and even foreigners love to gorge on them, making the road side eateries a class in itself. So much so, Indian street food has become world famous.

The popularity of Indian street food outside India has drastically gained over the years. There are many restaurants in several cities around the world that specialize simply in Indian street food. Dubai is one such city.

It's where I find all my favorite snacks that I used to eat when I was vacationing in India. Memories are almost always attached to each dish. However, what I enjoy the most is seeing my son gorging down the same snacks I used to and still enjoy. Jalebis are his sweet favorite - but when it comes to savory, the Bombay Frankies are unbeatable.

Frankies are the essence of Bombay street food. They are the Indian version of wraps if you will have it. During lunch time in Bombay - college kids will rush in hordes to their local food stall and indulge in one or several types of Frankies. What's so great about them is that they are so versatile and can be filled with anything you like. They are delicious, kid-friendly and perfect for a snack. Serve them with any kind of chutney to add a extra taste-level.

My Frankies are made with paneer and an array of vegetables. I spice mine with a mix of cumin powder, chaat masala and turmeric. Fresh ginger and garlic give a wonderful fragrance. Finally a dollop of fresh, homemade mango chutney tops off a perfect Frankie.

If you want a bit of the Indian street food in your kitchen this is one snack your family will love.

Printable version of recipe here.

Paneer Frankies (02) by MeetaK

For the Frankies

4-6 chapatis (you can also use whole wheat tortillas if you do not have fresh chapatis at hand)
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece ginger, minced
2-3 green chilies, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon chaat masala
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
juice of 1/2 lime
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoon canola oil
500g paneer, cubed. You'll find find step by step instructions to make paneer here.
250g mixed vegetables, julienne
Handful coriander leaves
1 egg, beaten

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large wok. When hot, add the onions and stir fry until transparent. Mix in the garlic, ginger and green chilies and sauté for another minute or so. Now add all of the spices. Cook for approx. 4-5 minutes, then add the vegetables and give it a good toss. Now add the paneer cubes and gently stir.

Drizzle the lime juice and sprinkle the coriander leaves. Mix well.

Assembling the Frankies

In a large skillet heat up a tiny drop of the remaining oil. Place the chapati (or tortilla) to heat through. Add a a little bit of water to the egg. Generously brush the egg wash onto the chapati and flip. Cook for 1-2 minutes, brushing with the egg wash on this side. Flip again and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Place the chapati on a chopping board. Add a few tablespoons of the paneer filling and roll, similarly to a wrap. Repeat the process for all of the chapatis and filing.

Serve with mango chutney.


For the Spicy Mango Chutney

6-7 ripe mangoes, cut into chunks
200-250 ml white vinegar
Juice and zest of 4 limes
2 cups sugar
10 whole cloves
15-20 red peppercorns
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons ginger, minced

Mango Chutney Diptych (01) by MeetaK

In a sauce pan add the vinegar, red onion, chili flakes, peppercorns, cloves, salt and sugar and bring to a boil over a medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for approx. 15 minutes.

Add lime zest and juice, ginger and mangoes and stir well. Simmer for approx 40 minutes until the mangoes begin to soften and the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and transfer the chutney immediately into jars.

Refrigerated the chutney will last for up to 4 weeks.


Paneer Frankies (03) by MeetaK

My mum knows my passions. So when I was in Dubai in April she took me to a fantastic street food restaurant. They served a delectable variety of typical Indian street food - all of the ones I mentioned above. But it was the Frankies that caught my eye. They were the right combination of sweet, zesty and spicy.

Back in Germany I created a bit of the street food in my own kitchen. These Frankies are simply superb. I love the combination with the mango chutney. I actually made fresh chapatis especially for these. Soeren found these absolutely delicious and Tom indulged in quite a few of these. Unfortunately no leftovers for later. My advice make several of these, because they'll go like hot cakes - err Frankies.

Hope you enjoyed a tiny peak into Indian street food. With this simple recipe I am sure you too can enjoy a taste of India at home.

You might enjoy these great Indian dishes too:

Poori Bhaji
GajarHalwa 05
Gajar Ka Halwa
Chicken Curry02
Chicken Curry

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. The frankies are making me drool!!!
    Thats what I miss so much in the US - the street food! Especially when I am traveling. In India you could stop by any roadside stall and be instantly satisfaction.
    My mom used to complain the road food tastes better because it includes grit and sweat, but eh, who cares? I still eat them off the road when I go there and have never fallen sick (touchwood!).

  2. 'Frankies' are now one of the favorite street food(after Panipuri) back in Hyderabad! I was amazed at the number of road side 'Frankie stalls' opened up!urs looks yummo Meeta and thewith Mango chutney they must have tasted even better!



  3. Wow they are just superb.
    I love them.
    We are going to India soon and also to Mumbai for few days, iwill make sure i am gonna eat frankes for sire from oneof the steet shops.

  4. I'm all for dosa, although I'd never heard of frankies before! They sure sound delicious though.

  5. Oh my goodness! I absolutely adore paneer. I have a block in the fridge that I was going to turn into butter paneer masala, but now I want these!! Right now.

  6. Hey Meeta,
    Nice write up on Street food.I feel no matter how good rest of the world be in technology,civic sense,infrastructure etc.But India is best when variety of delicious food is concerned.There is so much to relish here,and that too at so much affordable rate.I feel blessed to enjoy all type of spicy,savoury and sweets here in Mumbai

  7. frankies look fab......i used to make a detour to buy groceries at a supermarket farther than the one closer to our place, only because there was a frankie stall outside and i could have one on my way back!!

  8. Mmmm, I can just imagine the flavours as I bite into one of those Frankies! I love paneer and that mango chutney is beautiful - what a gorgeous colour. I like that you made it spicy - that's just how I like it too.

  9. They look delicious Meeta, I love Paneer in any form and Panner frankie is my fav Street Food..:)

  10. Those look really tasty! Oh and the mango chutney...mmm...

  11. Meeta, I absolutely love it! I'm big fan of all kind of wraps, and this one sounds amazing... paneer and mango chutney are things I have never tried yet... I'm bookmarking it and will definitely try pretty soon.

    Have a nice day, Margot

  12. these looks delicious meeta. I remember chicken frankies and kathi rolls in delhi. Can eat them everyday :)

  13. Wow...those look great. I have had paneer..I have had chutney...but all together like that...

  14. they look great meeta, especially with your mango chutney

  15. Hi Meeta!
    Lovely post and pictures. I made paneer frankie for lunch today and your pics are making me hungry for more!
    Btw, I grew up in Dubai and go back every year to visit. What restaurant did your mom take you to? Just curious..

  16. ooooooooo the stret food in india is amazing, was in Goa a few years ago and it was fantabulous, nothing like it and I miss it so much when it's warm and all I want is some chicken in a wrap but can't remember what it's called

  17. i am crazy about street food!! your post reminded me of my good old students days in Manila..were street food are the only thing my allowance could afford..

    i havent tasted frankies yet but your lipsmacking picture provided my imagination with tons of flavors!! i love it!

  18. Looks lovely.
    All I can say is that I'm lucky to be able to eat it all whenever I want.:)

  19. Great post! I traveled along with you :)

  20. Reading this post made me so hungry Meeta. I love all kind of street food - junk food :). I think I am going to make some chaat today!!!. Love these frankies :)

  21. The frankies are making me drool.
    wonderful pics.

  22. This post made me really want to travel to India to experience the street food. I am a huge street food lover, and this looks delicious!

  23. Hi Meeta,

    That chutney looks amazing. Is white vinegar 'weiß wein essig'? Sorry for the silly question but i have never bought vinegar so far:(


  24. That's certainly some very pretty and delicious look street food!

  25. OMG!! Such a mistake to come here hungry... These look so phenomenal! :)

  26. Loved this one too! Great pictures as usual! The street frankies we get in Bombay are pretty oily - the whole wheat rotis are certainly a better option!

  27. OMG!! how did I miss this Meeta!! boy, I love frankies, and yours look sooooo good! I'm def making them this weekend!:)

  28. Hi meeta
    Your frankies look delicious, i am in a serious food rut and came here for some refreshing ideas and you did not disappoint! :)

    I will have to try it on my toddlers..


  29. Looks so good and delicious. I love street food and practically grew up on it.

  30. Hey Meeta, been lurking in your blog for a while, and when I made the mango chutney today, it was time to leave you a note! It is great and now I must make the frankies to go with it! :)

  31. Hi Meeta,
    I came across this frankies recipe in an Indian regional news paper last weekend. I didn't know whether they sought your permission or not but I thought that I bring to your notice that your photograph has been used here.
    Great work as always, yet to try the recipe...

  32. Hi Anu,

    Thanks for the info. Can you contact me via email? Please also keep the newspaper clipping. NO the obviously did not ask my permission. So wrong!

  33. Hi Meeta,
    I came across this frankies recipe in an Indian regional newspaper last weekend. I didn't know whether they sought your permission or not but I thought I bring to your notice that they have used your photograph in their recipe.
    Here is the URL:
    Great work as always. Yet to try the recipe...

  34. Hi Meeta, I was looking for interesting recipes with paneer and found your great blog!! I really love it and all your tasty ideas. I tried the Frankies and was really happy about the indian street food. If you would like to have a look:

    Many greetings from Germany,

  35. very nice recipe for vegetarians to start the day. Thanks for sharing this Meeta. Have a nice day


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