Thursday, 17 April 2008

Versatile Vegetable Patties with Apple Butter Chutney

These were inspired by pakoras; I thought I would prefer something more substantial and less greasy. A little experimentation came up with a dish I make quite often. The "batter" is simple to make and will keep in the fridge for up to a week, making a hot lunch very quick and easy.

I am keeping to the pakora theme here by serving them with Apple Butter Chutney, but in fact these are surprisingly good in a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, pickle, mayo, etc, etc; whatever you like to have on a hamburger, although of course there is no resemblence at all in looks, flavour or texture to a hamburger.

Chickpea flour can be found at Bulk Barn, or any Indian grocery store, where it will likely be called gram flour. Feel free to change the seasonings - I often skip the ginger and jalapeño pepper, and add a teaspoon of curry powder. The vegetables you use are also very much up to you. I have favourite combinations, of course. This one consisted of frozen corn, peas and spinach with grated carrot. I also often use grated carrot and zucchini with green onion. How about potatoes , carrots and cabbage - very seasonal at the moment. You could even use, dare I say it, leftovers...

8 to 12 patties
45 minutes - 30 minutes prep time

Versatile Vegetable Patties Vegetable Patties:
1 1/2 cups chickpea flour (gram flour)
1 teaspoon cumin seed, ground
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 fresh or tinned jalapeño chile, minced
2 to 3 tablespoons minced parsley or cilantro
2/3 cup water, or a bit more

3 to 4 cups grated or chopped assorted vegetables, raw or cooked
thawed if frozen
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

Mix the chickpea flour, ground cumin, salt, ginger, minced jalapeño, and parsley or cilantro in a large bowl. Mix in the water to form a fairly smooth, thick paste. Mix in the vegetables.

If the mixture is very stiff, loosen it with a little more water. It does tend to depend on what kind of vegetables you use. The mixture should be batter like - easy to stir but not flowing.

This should be made an hour or more in advance, but you can cook them at once if you want. As noted, you can also keep it, well sealed, for up to a week in the fridge.

To cook the patties, heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cover the bottom of the skillet with the olive oil. Spoon the batter in to form patties, spreading and pressing down to get a good shape and thickness - they should not be much thicker than 3/4", or they may not cook through by the time they are well browned. (Should you discover that yours are not done after they are removed from the pan, don't worry - stick them in the microwave for a minute or so, but if you keep them passably thin it won't be a problem.) They cook quite quickly; 2 or 3 minutes per side. Turn them over when they are golden brown. Serve them hot, with the chutney if you like.

Apple Butter Chutney:
2 to 3 tablespoons apple butter
1/2 teaspoon or so cumin seed, ground
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce

Mix the above in a small bowl; the exact proportions being quite flexible according to your taste.


Grace said...

apple butter is so underrated and underused! well, not in my kitchen, where i slather it on everything from toast to pork chops. i like the idea of turning it into a chutney--thanks!

Neen said...

Aha, I detect an Indian trend here. Apple butter chutney sounds so urbane, something you'd expect to find in a hip wine bar. Great mix-and-match of flavors!