Similar to a deep-fried taquito, egg roll, or other fried, meaty handheld snack, these Indian delights combine a meat filling in a crispy wrapper. Kheema pan rolls use thin savory pancakes to hug a filling in place while being deep-fried. The process of making these savory snacks can be time-consuming, but the resulting flavor makes it worth it.
Serve kheema pan rolls hot, warm, or at room temperature with mint-coriander chutney or tamarind chutney.
- For the Filling:
- 3 tablespoons vegetable, canola, or sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 medium onions (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 1 pound ground beef (or ground chicken, lamb, or mutton if you prefer)
- 2 tablespoons coriander powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- Dash of salt (or to taste)
- 2 medium tomatoes (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (juice of 1/2 a lime)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
- For the Pancakes:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- Dash of salt (or to taste)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable, canola, or sunflower oil
- For Frying:
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- Oil for deep frying (vegetable, canola, or sunflower oil)
Make the Filling
Heat the oil in a wok or deep pan over medium heat.
Add the cumin seeds and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the onions and fry until they turn a pale golden color.
Add the ginger and garlic pastes and stir-fry for 1 minute.
Add the ground beef and coriander, cumin, garam masala, and salt. Cook until the meat turns evenly brown, stirring often to prevent burning. This should take about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook until they soften, stirring frequently.
Remove the pan from the heat; add the lime juice and chopped coriander leaves and stir. Set aside to cool.
Make the Pancakes
Combine all of the pancake ingredients in a deep bowl and whisk into a smooth batter.
Set a frying pan over medium heat. Coat lightly with oil.
When the oil shimmers, use a ladle to pour a small amount of the batter into the center of the pan. Swirl the pan to spread the batter into a thin pancake, then cover the pan with a lid. Let it cook until the batter fully sets, but do not let the pancake turn brown. You do not need to flip the pancake. When it is ready, transfer it to a flat plate to fill. (Do not make the remaining pancakes at this time; they need to be filled when warm.)
Assemble the Rolls
Immediately add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the kheema filling to the center of the pancake. Roll the pancake (while it's still warm) as you would an egg or spring roll, folding in two sides to prevent the filling from falling out and then rolling it away from you. Set it seam-side down on a sheet pan or tray lined with wax paper.
Make and fill the remaining pancakes one at a time, setting them on the wax paper as you finish each one. Reserve a little batter to dip the rolls in before frying.
After you prepare all of the rolls, dip each one in the remaining batter to coat it well on all sides, then roll it in the breadcrumbs.
In a large pot, heat about a quart of oil to 350 F for frying.
Deep-fry one or two rolls at a time until they turn golden brown all over. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the oil and set them aside to drain on paper towels. Continue frying batches of rolls.
Serve warm with chutney as a dipping sauce.