It was hot sultry calm before the storm in NC. Very hot and humid weather and temperature in higher eighties.. We know what happens next here – thunderstorms and heavy rains. Predicted in the next 24 hrs. That still did not stop us from cribbing and hoping we could have a bit of the cooler breeze. But nonetheless, as part of the fridge cleaning process, I came across a bunch of beets.. And that’s what became of these..
This was such a delight to have.. Made a cool Minty Cucumber Greek Yoghurt Dip and it was absolute heaven on hot sultry night.. Kids loved it! The only indulgence was the addition of bread crumbs made easier on self cause I used the wheat kind. The shredded raw beets and crunch of sesame on the top and great blended flavors from the spices boosted this to just another level !
Prep time : 30 min Cook time : 30 min Yield : 36 cutlets
For the base:
Fine Shredded Raw Beets : 1 and another 1/4 Cups
Fine Shredded Raw Carrots : 3/4 cup
Fine shredded Onion : 1/4 cup
Boiled Potatoes : 2, peeled and mashed
Bread Crumbs : 1/4 cup
Roasted and powdered Oats : 1/4 cup
Roasted and Powdered flax seeds : 1/4 cup
Fresh Cilantro Chopped :1/4 cup
Fresh Mint Chopped : 1/4 cup
Fresh Jalapeno : 2 chopped fine ( optional)
Red chili powder : 1 tsp. ( optional and adjusted to spice level)
Garam Masala : 1.5 tsp.
Chat Masala : 1 tsp.
Salt : 1.5 tsp.
For the outer covering to create the crunchy crust:
Bread Crumbs : 1/2 cup
Sesame seeds : 1-2 Tbsp.
To cook :
Oil as desired
Pulse everything listed under the base in your food processor or if not in wide bowl by hand. The idea is to bring it all together to form a wet mass. This is achieved when the wet sticky potato mass combines with the fresh ingredients. You typically will not need any water at all to bring it together.
Make 2 inches flat patties in diameter and about 3/4 of an inch thick out of these and set aside.
Mix everything listed for the crust and set aside. If you do not wish to add bread crumbs but just the sesame seeds, it will bring out the richness and color of beets but you will still miss the crunchiness of it.
Coat these patties well in the bread crumbs – sesame seeds mixture. Nope, I did not initially dip it in milk, corn flour paste, flour paste or any such thing. The wetness of the patty was enough to coat the bread crumbs mix..
Note: The patty was wet but definitely not sticky.
In a wide skillet, add a Tbsp. or so of oil and gently swivel it so it coats the entire surface of the skillet and then heat it . ( A nonstick would be pretty useful here).
Gently place the patties on the heated oil surface and cook for about 5 – 9 minutes. Flip it once in the 4-5 minute interval and gently press down to ensure they are cooked thoroughly but not smushed.
Do cook it in medium high heat. In very high heat just the outer layer would be cooked and you will have soft raw middle.
Serve it with cool yoghurt dip.
Minty Cool Yoghurt dip:
2 cups of Greek / very thick yoghurt or sour cream
1 cup of very finely shredded cucumber
1/4 cup of very finely chopped mint
1 tbsp. of chaat masala
1/2 tsp of salt
Mix all together and serve!
Option 1 : Yes you can deep fry this. Yes it will taste absolutely delicious, but man why would you want to do it on a hot spring night and also kill the beets?
Option 2 : Baking . I did try baking it on 375 – 400 for about 15 minutes. The pan version yielded better taste though.
Superfast, Super quick , Super delish and uses ingredients most often found in your pantry . The best part about this is the fact that it is so versatile and has a burst of flavors all in one. You can keep the consistency thick enough to make it into a sandwich spread, or add a dollop on your burger when grilling. Or thin it out a bit and it become the most awesome chutney for Idli, Dosa(i), Adai, Upma .. You name it! Slightly vary the flavor and you have a super hit dip on your hands for those multi grain chips.. Oh! you can let your imagination run wild. But trust me, this is one chutney you will not regret to add to your list of must- do’s or repertoire.
Channa Dal or skinned peanuts : 1 Tbsp
tamarind paste : 1/2 tsp
Onion : 1 big , Chopped fine
Tomato: 1 big Chopped fine
Carrots: 1 big, peeled, Chopped fine
Cilantro : 1/4 cup, Chopped fine
Mint: 1/4 cup ,Chopped fine
Oil: 2 tsp
Green chilies : 2
Red Bydagi chilies : 2
Salt : 1 tsp
In a skillet, heat one tsp of oil and fry the channa dal or peanuts if using to golden brown.
Also add in the red Bydagi chilies and fry them. Next add in the green chilies to fry it a bit more.
Scoop it all out in a plate to cool it down a bit.
Add in one more tsp of oil in the same skillet and fry the onions, tomatoes and carrots in the sequential order. Take care to ensure these are nicely cooked/sautéed.
Turn off the flame and add in the chopped cilantro and mint and stir it in. The residential heat in the pan is enough to slightly wither the greens and take the edge of the raw nature of it.
Scoop this out on a second plate to cool the contents.
In a blender, dry grind the channa dal or peanuts with the red chilies initially into a dry rough grind. Next add in the green chilies, tamarind paste, sautéed veggies and salt and blend very well without water.
Add in a few tablespoons of water to thin out according to need , but ensure it is given a final whirl in the blender before use.
That’s it! Simple and ready for a multitude of uses.
Don’t’ have channa dal or peanuts? Try using split urad dal or almonds. Works like a charm and don’t be shy to experiment a bit.
Don’t have red Bydagi chiles?Add in a tsp of kashmiri mirch powder or simply exclude it from the recipe.
Mint and cilantro can be mutually exclusive in this recipe or added with a bit of sweet basil and you have a completely different flavor.
Add in sautéed ginger and introduce a new variation to this.Want to add garlic? Yes yes you may do so, but ensure again it is sautéed very well.
Uses: sandwich spread, relish, topping, accompaniment to dosas, idli, rotis, upma and more, dip for multi grain chips and crackers, veggie dips.
Fresh Cilantro and Mint Chutney- Green , tangy dressing anyone?
Super quick post..Been wanting to add this in the Basics for some time. Prompted to do this cause of FB request from a dear friend asking me for my version of this. Of course if you troll the inet, everyone and their cousin will have one of this , but I simply love this version.
Want a dressing that is ?
Low fast : check
Quick : check
Filled with green stuff : check
Passes taste test: check
Freezable : check
Multiple uses: check
So without much ado…
Fresh Cilantro leaves : 1.5 cup packed ( chopped finely)
Fresh Mint leaves : 1 cup packed ( chopped finely)
Dhalia/Roasted Channa Dal : 1/4 cup
Cumin seeds : 2 tsp
Green chillies : 10-12 ( as required)
Lime : juice of 1
Sugar : 1 tsp
Salt : 1/2 tsp
Tamarind paste : 1 tsp
Grind the roasted channa dal or dhalia with the cumin seeds . ( You can substitute any nut to this. The idea is to create a thick base. on occasions, I have used almonds, peanuts or even walnuts).
Add in the rest of the ingredients except the lime juice and blend it well. Add water as required. You can make it quick thick and dilute on requirement. Or serve this as thick sandwich spread.
Once blended , nice and smooth add in the lime juice, give it a whir and store it. the purpose of the lime juice is two fold – it prevents discoloration and has the zing factor !
In the fridge, stays fresh for a week or so.
For rainy day use, stick it in the freeze in smaller quantities, so you can defrost the required amount only.
For flavor variation, a fresh piece of mango ginger does wonders. Also you can make this completely nut free and lentil free and just stick to the greens.
Uses: sandwich base, chaat dressings, dressing on salad, dips and more
And one that can be made in a jiffy and not the store bought one?
Oh did I emphasize the yummy , tasty lip smacking part again…???
Alright then off we go on to this journey about how this one came about. Well North Carolina’s sweltering heat can make even the best of the well intentioned people not to venture into the cooks creation place aka kitchen.
Impromptu awesome company..check
red wine .. check
Near bare pantry .. check..
But rummaging through yielded …
Garbanzo beans – small can
Dried garlic – yes dried up garlic .. sigh !!
Jalapeños – preserved kind
red pepper flakes
Simple becomes exotic
Drain the can of cooked garbanzo beans. and reserve the water as a just in case requirement.
Add 2 tbsp of sundried tomatoes with the some of the oil it has been preserve din.
Add about 4 garlic pods – even though mine were sort of dried up and in sorry looking state, it just dry roasted them and added it in to give in the flavor.
Add in 2 tbsp of the of sliced Jalapeño preserves
Blend it .Simply blend it.The idea is for this to be fine ground as much much as possible to infuse the hummus with their flavors.
Add in the drained garbanzo beans, 2 tbsp of tahini paste and blend till it smooth and creamy. ( real creamy = faster consumption in my house )
That’s it . No seriously that’s it. Adjust the salt level if required before the final spin in the blender.
Dump content s in a bowl,add in a dash of olive oil and red pepper flakes ( or anythings else of choice ) .
And watch it disappear with a bowl of Pita chips or or bread. Seriously good! Beats the pants off any store bought hummus ..
Prep time : 10 min Process time : 10 min Consumption time : 10 min ( ha ha told ya!)
Shelf life : should stay for a week , but I have never got the opportunity to test it. Serves : 4-6