Thursday, June 25, 2015

Baked vegan zucchini and potato fritters

Zucchini in the summer is really abundant and I love potatoes - here is a lovely marriage of the two. Both these vegetables are great at picking up flavors - thyme, garlic powder and green onions give it that extra kick. I recently went on a gluten free vegetarian diet - hence I used chickpea flour and flax seed powder as binders. You can use regular all purpose flour and an egg - start with the yolk and then if necessary add the egg white. The yolk gives a nice richness to the fritter. A pan fried version would be quicker and crisper but zucchini absorbs a lot of oil - so I decided to bake them even though they took forever.

Baked vegan zucchini and potato fritters
1 medium zucchini grated through the large holes of a box grater or food processor
1 medium gold potato, peeled and grated through the large holes of a box grater or food processor
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
1/8th teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt + 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon flax seed powder
1 1/2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons chickpea flour
About 3 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Place a large baking sheet to preheat as well in the middle rack.
  2. Place the grated zucchini in a colander lined with cheesecloth. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix well. Let it sit till you are ready to put the fritters in the oven. The longer it sits the more liquid will come out of the zucchini. When you are ready, squeeze the cheesecloth with the zucchini to remove the excess liquid. You should have about 2 cups of grated zucchini after it is squeezed.
  3. Do the same to the grated potatoes.
  4. Mix the flax seed powder with the water and let it sit for 10 minutes to become like glue.
  5. When the oven has preheated, in a large mixing bowl, add the squeezed zucchini, squeezed potato, 1/2 teaspoon salt, thyme leaves, green onions and garlic powder and mix well. Now add the chickpea flour mix once again.
  6. Lastly add the flax seed glue to the potato and zucchini mixture.
  7. Remove the preheated baking sheet and spread 2 tablespoons of olive oil  to cover the baking sheet.
  8. Take a small cookie scoop and place one scoop at a time on the baking sheet about an inch apart. You will get about 10 scoops from this mixture. Then flatten the vegetable mounds with the back of a spoon so that they cook evenly.
  9. Place the tray back in the middle rack for 20 minutes. Remove - add a few drops of oil on top of each fritter and flip to the other side.
  10. Put the tray back in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes till both sides are golden brown.
  11. Remove and serve with greek yogurt or romesco sauce.
Makes 6 two inch fritters

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Chingri Malai Curry (Shrimp with Coconut Milk)

Chingri malai curry is a quintessential Bengali dish served for special occasions. The bigger the size of the shrimp the more valued your guests felt. This curry tastes the best if you use prawns with heads. The heads have an immense amount of flavor which gives the curry the richness along with the coconut milk. I have used light coconut milk, but for a richer dish, feel free to replace it with full fat coconut milk.

9 large shrimps with tails on
2 small yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 teaspoon sliced green chili (jalapeno or serrano pepper)
7 oz unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup onion juice (Grate a medium red onion and squeeze the juice through a sieve)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 green cardamom
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
1/8th teaspoon turmeric powder

  1. Shell the prawns and leave the tails on. The tails make a better presentation and the shells add additional flavor. Toss them with 1/4 teaspoon salt and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a saute pan and  saute the potatoes over medium heat till they turn brown on all sides about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the browned potatoes and keep aside. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon canola oil and add the cardamoms, bay leaf and cloves. Once they start sizzling, add back the potatoes and the onion juice and cook over medium heat till the juice is almost dry. Add the shrimps, turmeric and sliced green chili at this point and saute for a couple of minutes till the shrimps being to turn pink.
  3. Add the coconut milk and simmer till the potatoes are fully cooked, about 5 minutes.  
  4. Serve with steamed white rice.

Serves 3