vinod patel's indian burrito has finally arrived at a location closer to me. as of thursday september eighth chula fused food will be at covent garden market from eleven to seven pm. az and i have been waiting of the arrival and despite having a rather heavy work load made our way to covent garden on thursday afternoon to get ourselves some fusion burrito's. i must tell you now that we ate them on the run stopping only when we reached the very end of the burrito by which point we were at the edge of trafalgar square. passengers on a bus at the traffic light near trafalgar square stared at us as we negotiated the ends of our burrito's, surveying each other's clothes and mouths to make sure we had no stray remains on ourselves.
the founder of chula fused foods is vinod patel. he previously worked with chipotle, home of the 'foil wrapped, hand crafted, local farm supporting, food culture changing cylinder of deliciousness'. my sibling and i were securely hooked onto the barbacoa burrito's when we were in scottsdale. of course it helped that we had a chipotle literally ten minutes driving from our place. i asked vinod what inspired the fusion of mexican american with pakistani, gujrati and nepalese influences. he just simply replied that he wanted a 'damn good mixing' of mexian and south asian influences. and why not. who doesn't love a good filling in a wrap.
in pakistan, mum and i went through a phase when we had to eat taimuri roll paratha's at least once every fortnight. these seriously calorie busting rolls included spiced barbecued meat - chicken or beef with a searing green chili chutney wrapped in a flaky and greasy paratha. to me the chula fused foods indian burrito is a natural progression of our love for interesting fillings securely wrapped and fastened in foil.
i was pleased to see that chula fused foods places pakistani cooking firmly into its own context rather than lumping it into the indian category. on the day that i went there were four options - kidney beans (pakistani style), meethi (fenugreek) paneer indian style, chicken keema (us and indian style) and a lamb curry which az sampled. they were all really delicious but i was personally taken by the kidney beans pakistani style as they reminded me of my mother's home cooked laal loobia. i love the indian rajma but there is a world of a difference between laal loobia and rajma as it is quite rich and spicy. at chula fused foods the kidney beans were in a light gravy with a gentle spice profile. both az and i had the veggie indian burrito's mixing the methi paneer and red kidney beans. the chutneys are salsa based but with distinctly south asian spices and there is a smattering of salad (red cabbage and grated carrot) to add a fresh texture.
two very content indian burrito eaters returned to work that afternoon. it occurred to me later that i should have asked vinod whether the name chula fused foods was inspired by the chula itself as in the sub-continent food is cooked on a 'chula' (stove). i'll find out next time...find chula fused foods on twitter @Chulafusedfoods and take yourself down of whatever location is closest to you - pimlico, portobello, covent garden for some indian-mexican goodness.