• Mumbai frankie (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

Originally a simple man’s food to help get through the day, this quick and filling dish hails from Mumbai, as the name would suggest. It is an amazing snack for those on 
the run — spicy, tasty and so easy to make. 






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)

The amchur adds a lovely sourness to 
this beautifully flavoursome, energy-dense vegetarian dish. If you don’t have time 
to make your own roti, this dish also works really well with frozen roti parathas, 
from the freezer section of Asian grocery stores. 


  • 4 cooked roti, preferably roti canai
  • melted butter or ghee, for brushing
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp frankie masala (a spice mix readily available in spice shops),
    or Chaat masala 

Masala water 

  • 80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup) water
  • 1½ tsp amchur (dried mango powder) 
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp Garam masala 
  • a pinch of salt 


  • 1½ tbsp rice bran oil or butter
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 400 g (14 oz/1¾ cups) mashed potato
  • ¾ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Garam masala 
  • ½ tsp Chaat masala (optional)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • a generous pinch of salt, to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


For the masala water, bring the water to the boil in a small saucepan, then remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining ingredients until well combined and allow to cool.

For the stuffing, heat the rice bran oil or butter in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat and cook the ginger garlic paste for a few seconds. Add the mashed potato, ground spices, coriander and salt, mixing well. Stir for another minute, or until all the ingredients are combined well and the spices evenly mixed through. Set aside.
Heat a flat round grill (such as a tawa) or barbecue hotplate to medium.

Place a roti on the grill. Spread one-quarter of the stuffing around the middle of the roti and carefully roll it up. Brush the roti with melted butter or ghee and gently grill for a minute or two until golden underneath, then carefully flip it over and cook on the other side until the roti is golden and the filling is warmed through. Take care not to cook it too much, or the roti will become too crispy.

Remove from the grill and unroll the roti, filling side up. Top with a quarter of the chopped onion, then sprinkle evenly with 1/4 tsp of the frankie masala and about 1½ tsp of masala water, before rolling it up tightly in foil or baking paper.

Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make three more frankies. Serve immediately, cut in half if desired.

• Cheese frankie: For each frankie, sprinkle 4 tbsp grated cheddar or haloumi over the stuffing before grilling.
• Sichuan frankie: Smear 1¹⁄₂ tbsp sichuan sauce evenly over each roti before stuffing and grilling.
• Paneer frankie: In the stuffing, replace 175 g (6 oz/  ³⁄₄ cup) of the mashed potato with 115 g (4 oz/  ³⁄₄ cup) chopped paneer.
• Jain frankie: In the stuffing, replace the mashed potato with the same amount of raw mashed banana, and replace the onion with the same amount of thinly sliced cabbage. You can also grate a little cheese over the stuffing for extra flavour.


Photography by Alan Benson. This recipe and image is from Lands of the Curry Leaf by Peter Kuruvita (Murdoch Books, RRP $49.99)