If you live in Southeast Asia, you’d be familiar with spring rolls, whether the ‘wet’ version or fried. They would mostly be filled with greens or root vegetables (carrot, turnip), and maybe some prawns or meat.
This is the Arab version I got from my former housemate, Asnidah, who is married to an Algerian. She posted in on Facebook, so the instructions are not really clear. And I’m not really sure if there really is an Arab spring roll, or it’s something that she came up with herself.
Try this if you love beef. My first attempt did not quite make the cut with AS and LK. It felt too ‘dense’ with meat and there was nothing Arabic about the taste. The second time around, I added a whole lot more mozzarella cheese. That changed the texture completely. More cumin and coriander powder also gave it a more distinctive Middle Eastern flavour. This time, it got the seal of approval.
The main difference between this version and our Asian spring rolls is the cooking method – baking. Give it a go and discover a new way to enjoy spring rolls.
Shopping list: minced beef, popiah skin, mozzarella cheese fresh coriander
From the pantry: onions, garlic, cooking oil, butter cumin powder, coriander powder
Hardware: oven, pastry brush
Can I do it?: Frying the ingredients is easy. The difficult part is rolling the filling. If it’s too wet, the skin will break.
Tip: You can make a big batch and store the rolls in the freezer until it’s needed.