This is our take on bheja fry – spiced brain is filled into pouches made of pastry sheets and fried. The element of crunch elevates the dish. My mother is very queasy about food textures and she had never sampled offal of any sort until I made her try this. She actually liked the dish, though she had no idea what the filling was made of. She thought the potlis were filled with cheese of some sort. Needless to say, she was bowled over when she found out the truth.
For Blanching Stock
- 4 garlic pods, peeled
- 2 green chillies
- 2 green cardamom pods
- 2-inch ginger, peeled
- 1 clove
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 2 tbsp coriander stem, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1½ l water
- 4 pieces lamb brain
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 2 tbsp refined oil
- 1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp ginger, chopped
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- ½ tsp chopped green chilli
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp Chettinadu masala powder (can be substituted with garam masala)
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 12-14 spring roll sheets
- 12-14 scallions (just the green part, blanched)
- Rinse the brain pieces under cold tap water.
- Clean them carefully to remove the veins on the surface.
- Rinse again and refrigerate.
- Take the water in a large pot and add the rest of the ingredients to it.
- Place it on the flame and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Turn the flame off.
- While the stock is still hot, toss in the brain pieces and cover the pot with a lid.
- Let the brain poach in the stock for about 10-15 minutes. Strain and allow it to cool.
- Heat oil in a frying pan. When the oil is ready, add the mustard seeds.
- Once the mustard seeds crackle, put in the curry leaves, chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies. Sauté for a few minutes.
- Toss in the sliced onions and continue to sauté until the onions are translucent.
- Stir in the powdered spices and salt. Sauté for about a minute on low flame until the masalas are cooked through.
- Add the poached brain pieces and sauté gently, so that the brain pieces are not completely mashed.
- Adjust seasoning and finish off with chopped coriander leaves.
- Allow this mixture to cool.
- For each potli, cut the spring roll sheet vertically down the centre to make two identical pieces.
- Arrange the two halves, one on top of the other to form a cross.
- Place about 25-30 gm of the filling in the centre of the cross.
- Lift the edges of the spring roll sheets and bring them together over the centre in a bunch. Twist it slightly and tie the loose end with a blanched scallion.
- Place the potlis in a lidded flour-dusted pan and refrigerate until they are ready to serve.
- To serve, fry in a deep fat fryer at 180 degree Celsius until they are golden brown and crisp.
- Serve hot with chutney or dip.