Friday, 15 March 2013

Little Curried Treasures

Polpettini Vegetale Indiani con Salsa di Yogurt alla Menta & Tandoori
Indian Baked Vegetable Balls with Tandoori Mint Dip

Yes my friends- these little curried snacks are indeed treasures and I promise they will be worth their weight in gold at the next party you throw- should you make them that is. Because the flavor is so good, and yet they are so simple and fun- they are simply too good to be beat!
There is not too much to be said here- these are my version of a simple snack that will pack a punch in the flavor department, are easy to make and that in  a short amount of time and for very little money- and we all like that now don't we?

Basically, these are balls of mashed potato, with added zucchini, onion, garlic and finely diced red pepper- very everyday ingredients, that through the addition of some yummy Indian spices, go to make this into a much more exciting snack! Can you imagine making all of these little 
vegetable patties out of one large potato, one egg, some diced herbs and spices and a little willpower? All of this yumminess- and then they are not even unhealthy as they are baked in the oven as opposed to being fried.... Yay is all that I can say!

The first thing you will need is a large-ish boiled potato, which is basically going to make up the mass of these little nibbles... the rest is made up of zucchini, red pointed pepper and onion. So- where was I? I mashed down the potato with a fork and allowed it to cool. Whilst it was cooling, I turned on my oven and made sure it was nice and hot for baking in a little while. 
I then cut off a 2-3" chunk of zuchini  and cut it into a small dice, as well as one average-sized  red pepper and added these into the mix. I added a handful of fresh parsley and mint, a finely chopped shallot and about 1" worth of chopped ginger. And the egg!

I seasoned the mix with 1 teaspoon of Chaat masala, 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala, salt, pepper and a hint of chili and then mixed everything together with a fork until it became a semi- firm.
I then added bread crumbs to the egg, potato and vegetable mix and mixed them in, little by little, until the mixture was firm and smooth. To shape the little bite-sized snacks, I made sure to have a bowl of water closeby in order to wet my hands slightly... this makes the potato and vegetables nice and smooth on the outside and keeps them from sticking so terribly tou your fingers!

I then rubbed down a baking tray with a little clarified butter, added the vegetable balls and baked them first for 10 minutes at 300°F, then took them out, flipped them over and popped them back in the oven to brown off the other side. And whilst that was happening, I finely chopped a little onion, some mint and some parsley and stirred them into a plain yogurt, along with salt, pepper and tiny squeeze of lemon juice.

And that was all! It took me only 30 minutes or so to prepare these yummy snacks and I recommend you find that much time yourselves... so that you can give these things a go... you are going to like them for sure!

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