April 11-13 Indian Mexican Fusion or Confusion?

April 11     Went out for thai food
April 12     Tandoori chicken sopes and mediocre butter paneer
April 13     Grilled BATs with a roast potato/asparagus salad

Dianne and I are doing a half marathon on May 15 and we are really just starting to sort of train this week. You know, I don't need you to tell me that we are clearly insane and look at me like that. Monday we decided to do a 10k training walk (yes, we proudly walk people, and I'll have you know that walking can be harder than running and why are you are still looking at me like that). After I got home, I decided to just lay down on the couch for a few moments to read and promptly fell asleep. I am no longer a young pup and obviously needed to just rest my eyes for a minute or 70.
That said, there was no cooking going on in my home that day and I forced Shack to take me out for thai food.

Waking up Tuesday, feeling refreshed my mini vacation from cooking, I knew exactly what I was going to make for dinner. I was going to make sopes, one of our favorite mexican treats and put an Indian spin on them. Instead of salsa, I used a mint and a coriander chutney. Instead of queso fresco, I used crumbled paneer and of course, my left over tandoori chicken.

It was really, really delicious and the flavours of the masa cake and the indian flavours tasted like they were made for each other. When I make them again, I will actually make a fresh salsa using tomato, cucumber, cilantro, mint and lemon because the only element that was missing was a bite of something fresh and juicy like tomato. I served them with some unmemorable butter paneer that is best left undiscussed and leftover rice with cumin and black mustard seeds.

Tandoori Sopes
makes 6 large

I have full instructions with pictures on my blog,  The Yum Yum Factor
1 cup masa harina
2 tbls lard or shortening
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup hot tap water plus another couple of tbls of hot water

mix the masa harina, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Cut in the shortening like you would for pie dough. I just use my fingers to work it in until it has that pea like texture. Add the water, starting with 1/2 cup and mix it all together with your hands. Add water, 1 tbls at a time until the dough has the texture of a nice, soft cookie dough.

If you are making small appetizer sized sopes, roll the dough into balls the size of golf balls. I made them bigger because it was our entree so mine were the size of swollen golf balls, maybe 2".

f you have a tortilla press, great. If not, I use a flat spatula to flatten them out until they are about 1/4" thick.

Heat a dry, heavy pan (i like cast iron) over medium heat until it's really hot. Add the sopes and fry for two minutes a side. Take them out of the pan and start pinching up the sides to make a little wall, turning your flat disc into a little well to hold in all those tasty fillings. It will burn your fingers a little bit but like fashion, sometimes you have suffer for great food. 
If you want to cook them later on, you can stop here and cover them well with plastic wrap and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to fry them.

Heat another heavy pan (I don't like to use a really big pan to fry) with about 1/4" of vegetable oil. The oil is ready when a little piece of dough sizzles after you drop it in.

Add the sopes and fry for a minute or so , flat bottom down and then flip them over and fry them for another minute , flat side up. Remove from the pan and place, flat side up, on a paper towel lined plate to drain some of that extra oil. 
After they are all done, flip them right side up and start filling them.

Assembling the Sopes:

Shredded leftover tandoori chicken (enough to mound at least a tbls per sope - more is okay)
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
mint chutney
coriander chutney
about  3" block of paneer, sliced into thin slices cut to fit the bottom of the sope
a small avocado mashed with a squeeze of lemon
home made raita or store bought

put a thin slice of paneer on the bottom of a hot sope. Smear some avocado on top of that, then pile some shredded chicken and top with a few slices of red onion. Drizzle a bit of each of the chutneys on top and then a final bit of raita to finish it off.


  1. Aww I love these! The ingredients look delicious and the presentation is gorgeous :) Thanks for sharing, I love your blog!

  2. I've always felt that Mexican and Indian food had a natural affinity. Most people don't get that and look at me like I'm crazy.

    I will be trying these asap.

  3. see, I agree too and think that mexican and indian have something, if not in common exactly, but a similar sensibility.

  4. I don't know what masa harina is but I want some so I can make this, looks so good!

  5. suzie, it's flour made from dried masa that you use to make corn tortillas. You can get it at most grocery stores here - a popular brand is Maseca


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