Sunday, March 21, 2010

Recipe : Kacche Kele Ke Kebab - Plaintain Kebabs

This is my mum's recipe. Her quantities are even vaguer to define than mine when cooking from old favorites. Where the recipes are in our head rather than in a book. I have tried to approximate them the best I can, but you may need to tweak this a little, especially given the difference in sizes of plaintains across the country. Back home mum gets really large plaintains, so she uses a handful of dhal for each plaintain. The ones I got in Delhi were much smaller and thinner, so I used just 2 tablespoons dhal per plaintain
This is a healthier version than aloo tikkis because it uses fibre rich vegetable plaintains rather than carbohydrate rich potatoes. There is some similarity in the taste too, so its an easy substitute for diabetics for whom potatoes need to be consumed in moderation.

Although the original recipe calls for deep frying. I roasted them on a non stick pan on a slow fire. It didn't have the crunchy texture of a deep fried kebab, but the taste was still very good.

5 medium vegetable plaintains - kela (this is not the same as raw plaintains)
1 medium onion
10 tablespoons channa dhal (split chickpeas)
1" ginger (or ginger paste)
green chillies to taste
salt to taste
a pinch of haldi (turmeric) powder
1-2 tsps of your favorite vegetable powder
(mum uses a Manglorean mix called Stew powder, but you can use Kitchen King, Chole Masala or your own blend)
oil to deep fry or shallow fry (based on your preference)

Soak the channa dhal for at least 1 hour. And then pressure cook it with a little water so it is completely soft. Drain and reserve the water.
Seperate the plaintains from the bunch but leave their stem on top (the plaintain shouldn't be open)
Pressure cook the plaintains in some water. Their skin is thick, so it will need a little longer cooking than potatoes.
Cool & skin the plaintains.
Chop onions, ginger and chillies very fine

Smash the boiled channa dhal and the plaintains and mash them together.
Add the chopped onions, ginger and chillies and mix well
Add salt to taste and your favorite vegetable powder (you can even use meat masala if you wish)
Mix well.
Adjust the consistency by adding the reserved liquid from the boiled channa and if by chance it has become too watery, you can always add besan (chickpea flour)
Raw plaintains are much drier than potatoes so the extra liquid may be needed.
Shape into round cutlets or oblong croquettes.
Best results can be got by deep frying the kebabs.
I roasted them in a non stick pan with hardly any oil.

Serve hot with green chutney or tomato sauce.
This dish is great as a snack or even as a side with dinner.

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