Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Palak/Spinach Chickpeas Cutlets

Our family is vegetarian so we have very few option to explore.My husband's current project is in Dallas and a Mediterranean  lunch buffet place called "Galilee Grill" in downtown dallas attracts him a lot. This place has a wonderful buffet under $10 and you will be amazed to see how crowed it is during the weekdays lunch hours.I too love middle eastern food as it is quite spicy.
As my DH and son are a fan of falafel there are times when I cooked it very often.Just to make it  healthy I  add either mix vegetables or spinach or soya chunks to these and believe me the addition of these ingredients made them more tasty.

Originally falafel was made of fava beans but later as it migrated outside Egypt fava beans were replaced  by chickpeas.Falafel grew to become a common form of street food or fast food in the Middle East. During Ramadan, falafel balls are sometimes eaten as part of the iftar, the meal that breaks the daily fast after sunset Falafel became so popular that McDonald's began to serve a "McFalafel" in some countries

Deep fry or shallow fry?
This time I have deep fried them as I am serving them to a group of guests but I prefer shallow frying them for my family.Deep fried taste better but shallow fried make them healthier.

Here's what you need

1 cup dry chickpeas

1 cup roughly chopped red onion

4 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp salt

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp garam masala

4 cloves of garlic

1 tsp cumin

1 tspn baking powder

2 cup bread crumbs

2 green chilli slit at the center and seeds removed

1 cup finely chopped spinach

4 tbsp all purpose flour

Oil for Deep Frying

The Cooking Process

1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl ,rinse it a couple of times and add 4 cups of cold water and let it soak overnight, then drain.

2.Pour the drained, uncooked chickpeas ,cilantro, salt, chilli powder, garam masala,garlic, green chillis and cumin in  the bowl of a food processor/blender.and blended it into a coarse paste.Use as little water as possible.

3. Transfer this mixture in a bowl.Pat dry the chopped spinach.Add the spinach 2 tbsp of flour and baking powder and mix well.Add bread crumbs if you find the dough to be too wet.The dough should form a non sticky small ball.Refrigerate for couple of hours.

4.In a small bowl make a paste of 3tbsp of water and 2tbp flour.Before you begin frying have the counter top ready with the chickpeas mixture ,the flour paste, a plate with some bread crumbs and a bowl with a paper towel to remove the falafel after frying.

5.When the oil is hot enough , with greased palms roll the spinach chickpeas mixture to a desired shape pattie .Dip it in the flour paste and then coat it with bread crumbs and to test just fry one pattie on medium high heat until golden.If it falls apart add a little of all purpose flour to the mixture.Fry the remaining balls in similar manner.Drain on paper towel.

6.Serve hot with ketchup or green chutney or how about a healthy burger -Just stack a few lettuce leaves,tomato slice,onion slice and place these cutlets inside a hamburger.Yummy and filling to go snack is ready

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sabudana/Sago and peanut butter Ladoo

Here's what you will need

1 cup Sabudana/sago

1/4 cup peanut butter (smooth, unsalted and no sugar added.)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

1/8 cup cashew nut powder(optional) ( You could use cashews for garnishing instead)

ghee as required

The Cooking Process

Dry roast the sabudana till they are light golden and grind it to a fine powder.

In a large bowl beat the peanut butter till it is light and fluffy.Now add the sugar,sabudana powder,cashew nut powder and cardamom powder and mix the ingredients well.

Grease your palms with ghee and make small lime size balls.If you find it hard to shape you could add 1-2 tbsp of melted ghee to the mixture.

These ladoos can be served as snack.This can be also served during Vrat.

If you are not comfortable having peanut butter for fasting you could replace it by 2 tbsp peanut powder and 1/4 cup ghee.

Makes :20 ladoos