Egyptian stuffed tomatoes are a labor of love, but boy are they worth the effort
In my “How the World Eats Fried Foods,” I couldn’t resist using multiple recipes with potatoes. This stuffed potato fritter is called potato chap, and they are no small feat! However, if you have some experience with stuffing foods, I recommend you try these. The golden color, lovely textures, and tender meat come together to create a delicious take on potato fritters that anyone is sure to enjoy.
This potato chap recipe comes from Rachelle, who is from Chicago but is also half English-Irish and half Assyrian. Made from potato, potato flakes, ground beef, onion, egg, coriander, and turmeric, these fritters are a staple food item for Assyrians. Rachelle’s nana would care for her and her siblings often, cooking meals of all kinds. When it came to potato chap, Rachelle noticed that she would get frustrated by this recipe. Years later, when she finally attempted to make it herself, she realized that the potato flakes were the secret ingredient. Without them, the dough would break apart in the oil. Moral of the story: Don’t forget your potato flakes, folks!
Assyrians are not to be confused with Syrians. Up until 600 BC, an ethnic group called Assyrians existed in the Middle East. They do not have a country today, but modern-day Iraq, Turkey, and Syria make up what used to be Assyria. Rachelle’s father’s family left Iraq in the mid-1970s to escape the Iraq-Iranian War, a fact reflected in their food. As a matter of fact, potato chap is eaten in many Iraqi homes, too. This meal has interesting roots, so thank you to Rachelle for sharing, lest we forget them!
This crispy, fried potato dough encases a lovely ground beef filling; my ratio favored potato, so make sure to stuff a fair amount of beef into your potato chaps. The texture of this dish is key, so make sure to fry them according to directions to achieve a perfect fry and a salty, tender filling. I will say that this dish isn’t super easy to make, but if you have the proper experience, it is worth it. The trick is to make sure every ingredient is at room temperature during preparation, ensuring an easy stuffing process.
If you want to substitute lamb or add yogurt as a pairing, I think both adjustments would work beautifully with potato chap. But it’s also tasty as is, so give this historically rich recipe a go and let me know what you make of it!
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