In Uganda, rolexes are very popular. Not the watches, mind, but street-side snacks comprising Indian chapatis cooked with eggs and vegetables, and rolled up – hence “rolled eggs”, or “rolex”. Mum says she remembers eating a more basic version in her youth, sometimes made with eggs and sometimes with chickpea flour, which is a store-cupboard staple in every Indian kitchen and the basis of today’s recipe. As with sandwiches and burritos, there are now endless variations on the rolex theme, but for today we’re travelling back to a particular time and place: my grandparents’ kitchen in Arua, Uganda, in 1971.
I’ve adapted the traditional recipe by replacing ordinary water with fizzy. It adds real oomph to the pancake batter, allowing it to become very crisp at the edges and light and fluffy in the middle. You can find gram (or chickpea) flour on the world food aisle of most large supermarkets; failing that, try an Indian grocerworld food.
Prep 15 min
Cook 40 min
250g gram flour
1 tsp turmeric
1¼ tsp fine sea salt
500ml fizzy water
100g red cabbage
1 medium tomato
½ red onion
1-2 green Indian finger chillies
20g (5-6 tbsp) coriander
2 tbsp sunflower oil – I like Mr Organic
6 pre-made chapatis
Vegan mayo (I like Leon’s), sriracha and more coriander, to serve
To make the batter, put the gram flour in a large bowl, add the turmeric and salt, whisk to mix, then slowly add the fizzy water, whisking as you go. Put to one side while you very finely shred the cabbage and chop the tomato, onion, chillies and coriander. Throw them all into the batter and stir to combine.
Put a teaspoon of oil in a nonstick pan roughly the same size as your chapatis and heat until very hot. When very hot, ladle in a sixth of the batter and swirl it around the pan quickly, so it covers the whole surface. Leave to cook for about two and a half minutes, until the bottom is golden brown, then flip and cook for another minute and a half on the other side. Lay a chapati on top of the pancake to warm up, then flip out on to a plate (so the chapati is now on the bottom) and repeat with the remaining oil, batter and chapatis – the pan will be very hot, so you may need to reduce the cooking time for the other pancakes.
To serve, drizzle over your choice of condiment – I like a combination of sriracha and mayo with some fresh coriander – roll up tight and eat.