After having been to a showdown cook-off on Saturday, I was feeling so inspired - I wanted to make clean, soul-food that makes you happy with every mouthful.
The showdown took place in a lovely little place in Shawlands in Glasgow called The Glad Cafe. As for the two street kitchens who were up against each other, it was one of my favourite little places in town called Babu Bombay Street Kitchen, and another pop-up street kitchen called Fire in Babylon.
We were all to try four courses, or - if sharing, you had the potential to try six dishes in total. I went with a couple of friends, and thus we decided to get all the different courses, so we knew who to vote for. I will write more about this after I have posted up this little recipe by Levi Roots - delicious Caribbean food, with a bit of heat but not so much that a dollop of chutney and yogurt couldn't level it out. It's all about balance...
Roti Wraps with Chilli Chickpeas
4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
5cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 Sping oniong, chopped
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tsp (black) mustard seeds (I used yellow)
4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
4 rotis, pita breads or wholemeal tortillas
4 tbsp Greek yogurt
4 tsp mango- or apricot chutney
1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan, add the onion and ginger and soften for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In the meantime, have the remaining olive oil and chickpeas, along with a splash of water in a bowl, and whizz until you have a course paste. You can also do this in a food processor or mash. Set aside.
- Add the Spring onions to the frying pan and stir for about 2 minutes - before adding the chilli flakes and mustard seeds and cooking for another minute. Now, tip in the tomatoes, fry for about five minutes on medium low heat.
- Stir in the chickpea paste, season well with salt and pepper (about 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper), and cook for a further 5-10 minutes.
- Heat rotis/wraps/pita, and top each with the chichpea mixture, along with some Greek yogurt, chutney and chopped coriander, and enjoy!
...Now, as far as the showdown went, it kicked off with a delicious starter by Babu Bombay Street Kitchen, a rice dish served in a paper cone with a complimentary cracker and a bit of heat! Alongside it we were given a caipirinha, which I thought went well with the spicy dish.
We each got to pick two out of four main courses, two provided by each Babu Bombay Street Kitchen and Fire in Babylon. Babu rattled up the infamous Yummy Mummy's Chicken dish with rice, and a lovely vegetarian dish that packed a good bit of heat and what was served with bread for dipping (SO good!), whilst representing FIB was Brown it Down Chicken served with macaroni pie and callaloo (I need to learn how to make that stuff!), and a brilliant Butternut Squash curry with coconut milk.
Fire in Babylon provided the dessert with a gorgeous, light mango and chocolate cheese cake, with an awesome biscuit base, and a small cup of spicy chai on the side. After the voting, it turned out to be Fire in Babylon who was victorious, although I had my hopes up for Babu, but nonetheless - the event was impeccable, and I'm hoping they will do something similar in the near future!
What is your favourite street food, and have you tried to make your own spin on it?
Spice it Up! p. 72