Thursday, 7 February 2013

Aloo Beautiful!

Polpette di Patate Indiani con Salsa di Yogurt alla Menta/Coriandolo e Limone
Baked Indian-Styled Potato Patties + Mint/Cilantro/Lime Yogurt Dip

Armed with a few simple weapons- potato (or "aloo" in Indian), cillantro, mint, yogurt and spices, I went into battle against a raging hunger this evening and defeated it- big time! Although not a traditional Indian dish, this potato recipe is sure to please and it certainly pleased me- especially as I oven-baked the patties rather than frying them and made a delicious low-fat yogurt dip, so that who whole thing was a guilt-free treat!

I tend to avoid deep fried food in general, but especially the breaded variety, as to me, it always just tastes the same- basically of grease, egg-dip and bread crumbs, whether it is meat, fish or vegetable. The fried flavor is just so overpowering in my opinion. I like the crispy bread crumbs, but also like to taste the flavor of what they happen to be coating!

These were so easy to make, but so delicious! I started off by steaming 3 medium potatoes for 15-20 minutes, until they were soft enough to mash. Whilst they were cooking, I prepared the other ingredients... about 1" of ginger, grated, 1 Spring onion, one good handful each of cilantro and mint, a pinch of chili and a tablespoon of Chaat Masala. Once the potatoes were cooked, I mashed them and added all of the other ingredients whilst the potatoes were still warm. I then sprinkled the potato/herb mix with 2 tablespoons of gram (chick pea) flour and blended that in well... this made the mashed potato thicken slightly... but not enough! So I added 2-3 tablespoons of bread crumbs, until the mixture became firmer- and kept a few bread crumbs more to one side, to coat the potato patties with as soon as I had formed them.

So now that I was ready, I seasoned the potato mix with salt and pepper and prepared a little glass of water, in which I could moisten my fingers, so as to shape the patties better- without water, they will be rather sticky! But with moistened fingers, the result will be much smoother. So I shaped the potato mass into little balls, squashed them down a little and then pressed them gently into the bread crumbs from all sides. The next thing I did was to prepare some olive oil in a dish, in which I could moisten my fingers again, and then press the patties back into shape... so they get ever so lightly coated in oil that will help them to brown much nicer in the oven. Into a hot oven they went, 400°F for 10 minutes on each side was all it took- which was also enough time to prepare the yogurt dip!

For the dip I added plenty of cilantro, mint and parsley to plain yogurt, a tablespoon each of finely chopped red onion and Spring onion and a little grated ginger and flavored it with a teaspoon of garam masala, the juice of 1 lime, salt, pepper, a little honey and a a drop or two of liquid clarified butter. I stirred everything up well and was ready to dip and have fun! A sprinkle of tandoori ppwder added a splash of color and a little tangy flavor... and the combination of everything together was just simply delicious! So easy, so tasty and so much fun! Enjoy it!

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