Wednesday, March 19, 2008

battered potato balls


This recipe has not been inspired by Delia and her belief that frozen mashed potato is the way forward. I can't think of anything worse, oh yes I can, tinned mince. Yuck. I think Delia is great, but is the need for a couple of new strikers at NCFC really require her to cook such odd, supposesidly labour saving food?

When I watch Delia's new show, I can't help thinking that Hugh Fernley Whitingstall (my foodie crush) must be a little perturbed by Delia new fascination with tinned meat - is the tined meat from high welfare sources .....?

Anyway, steering clear of both tinned meats and frozen mash, this week I cooked a dish from the West of India involving deep fried potatoes in gram flour batter. Turmeric bright yellow crushed potatoes, with chillies, spices and fresh Methi (fenugreek leaves) dipped into thick chickpea batter. Delicious.

I've been trying to recreate some of the dishes I used to eat in Asian cafes in Birmingham where I studied Textiles in the Nineties.  The cafe I use to go to, usually on a Sunday, was no frills establishment with a TV mounted in the corner usually showing West Bromwich Albian football matches. The array of small vegetarian bites, both sweet and savoury were really delicious, along with the different chutneys to accompany the savoury eats, made the meal even more interesting.

I wish I could remember the region where the cuisine came from, I think it could be west India and possibly from the state of Gujarat but I'm only gleaning this information from the cookery book I found the recipe in. The book that has inspired me to cook Indian food this week, is India with Passion - Modern Regional Home Food by Manju Malhi.

Batata Vadas or Battered Potato Balls (slightly adapted from above mentioned book)

  • 600g potatoes, peeled, boiled and slightly crushed

  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1/2 tsp sugar

  • good pinch of salt

  • red or green chilli, finely chopped

  • small handful of chopped coriander leaf

  • small handful of chopped fenugreek leaf

  1. Heat some oil in large frying pan, big enough to hold the potatoes.

  2. Add seeds, ground spices, salt and sugar.

  3. Add the potatoes, gently crushing as you heat and turn them in the spices, cook for 5 minutes.

  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool before adding the chopped fresh herbs.

For the batter

  • 150g gram (chickpea) flour

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • good pinch of salt

  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

  • Oil for frying

  1. Sieve the flour with other dry ingredients into a bowl.

  2. Add 1tsp oil and about 140ml water, more may be needed to get the batter the consistency of runny honey.

  3. To make the balls, dampen your hands and roll walnut size lumps of potato into balls.

  4. Drop the balls into the batter and lift out with a fork and drop into the hot oil.

  5. Fry for 4 minutes and then drain on kitchen paper.


Methi or Fenugreek leaves

No comments:

Post a Comment