For the last couple of days, I am trying to incorporate healthier items into my daily diet (read: force feed myself) which we don’t eat otherwise. Like beetroot, avocado, broccoli etc. I successfully (yay!) added avocado to our Mango almond smoothie and it tasted wonderful. I am indeed proud to finally have this rather unconventional but very common breakfast item into my menu. One recipe down for avocado!
The next thing was to get more beetroot in meals. I am not particularly a fan of this vegetable and don’t like to have it as a stir fry or sabzi on its own. So I try and add it into meals with other vegetables and spices so to maximise the benefits and taste. (you can tell from my language I am just back from a business seminar for work). So I have prepared beetroot tawa pulav, beetroot raita and beetroot halwa as well which BTW was fantastic.
But I want to have it more and still struggling with more ideas to fit this wonderfully nutritious vegetable in. Last weekend it was raining bad and I started craving for something deep fried. Now friends, craving like these can be very dangerous. Disastrous rather. These can shatter all your plans of heating healthy forever and shedding those extra kilos in no time. And you shouldn’t give in at these times and emerge stronger than ever.
But I thought about those melt in mouth koftas and all my strength and will power just vanished. These are so soft and taste perfect with tangy green chutney and sour cream. I had to literally ask S to take the plate away so I don’t eat more.
Hence a word of caution before you make them- these are very addictive! I would only ever make them again if there are guests at home and not just for us two. So at least there are more people to finish these off and I don’t keep drooling over them with my tongue out all the time.
These would not come under “healthy” category for sure. I mean, there are deep fried potatoes inside. How can these be healthy at all? And that’s why I added beetroot to these to lessen my sense of guilt. And of course to have more beets.
These koftas are vegan. But I personally think that the koftas where I add paneer are much softer and easier to roll, bind and fry. I usually make the paneer and alu koftas for Malai Kofta curry, which is just superb to have with plain rice, if I may add here.
Another point to be taken into consideration is – since beetroot releases water, it is essential to get the right amount of binding agent (like corn flour, bread etc.) mixed so these balls don’t break while frying. Read notes properly before you start with the process
These Koftas are superb to have as tea time snack, especially when its raining. They don’t need any preparation (apart from boiling potatoes) and can be assembled and fried really quickly. Fry at low gas setting, so the inside is cooked properly. Serve with fiery coriander chutney, No oil peanut chutney or tangy tomato chutney or an assortment of all three. I also added sour cream to the platter and it tasted awesome.
What you need?
- 2 large or 2–2½ packed cups Beetroot, peeled and grated
- 1 large or 1 cup Potato, boiled, peeled and mashed
- 1 large Onion, finely chopped
- 1½ tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
- 2 slices of Bread (I used brown bread here)
- 1–1½ heaped tbsp. Corn Flour/Corn Starch + more for dusting
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp. Oil + Oil for deep frying
- 1 heaped tsp Cumin Seeds (jeera)
- 1 tsp Fennel Seeds (saunf)
- ½ tsp Turmeric powder (haldi)
- 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder (Adjust as per taste)
- 1 tbsp. Coriander powder (dhaniya)
- 1 tsp Dry Mango Powder (amchur/khatai)
- 1 tsp Kitchen King Masala (Optional, but recommended)
- ½-1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tbsp. Dry Fenugreek Leaves/kasuri methi (Optional, but recommended)
- A pinch of Asafoetida (heeng)
How to make?
Do the preparation:
Boil or cook the whole potato in a pressure cooker. Once cool enough to handle, peel and mash the potato well.
Wash, peel and grate the beetroots. Peel and finely chop the onions. Keep them aside until needed.
Crumble the bread slices with hand or food processor and keep them aside.
Prepare the Beetroot Koftas:
Heat oil in a pan on medium flame and add cumin seeds, fennel seeds and hing. Sauté until the cumin seeds sizzle and change colour to deep shade of brown.
Mix in finely chopped onion and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown, about 2 minutes. Mix in ginger and garlic paste and fry until the raw smell disappears, about 2 mins.
Add grated beetroot and fry it until most of the moisture evaporates and the beetroot is cooked, about 4-5 mins.
Add turmeric, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, crushed kasuri methi, kitchen king masala and garam masala and sauté for 1 minute or two. Turn off the gas and add amchur powder or freshly squeezed lime juice and salt to taste and mix them well. Let the mixture cool down to room temperature.
Mix in mashed potato, crumbled bread and corn flour. Use hands when to mix all the ingredients and make sure they are mixed well. The consistency of the whole mixture should be as that of soft and sticky chapatti dough and you should be able to make lemon sized balls without breaking them.
If the mixture is too wet or you find difficult to make kofta balls, add a tbsp. or two of corn flour and mix them well. Alternatively, you can pop the mixture in refrigerate for 30-40 minutes which will help in firming up the mixture and aid in rolling the kofta balls.
Fry the koftas:
Run the kofta balls over the corn flour once and keep them ready. Heat the oil in a wok and bring to a high temperature. Roll a small ball out of the dough and drop it gently into the oil. If it sizzles and float up immediately, the oil is hot enough for the koftas to fry in
Reduce the gas setting to low and wait for a minute so the oil temperature comes at a notch lower. Gently drop the kofta balls one by one into the oil, not more than 3-4 in a batch (for a medium sized wok).
Fry them keeping the gas at low for about 6-8 minutes each. The koftas should turn light brown from the outside. Take care not to turn them over too many times since they might be fragile and break if you do. Just turn them once or twice very gently and let them cook properly at each side.
Once you feel they are done, take one out and drain on a kitchen towel. Use a fork to slice and check if the ball is cooked well from inside. If not, increase the frying time to 8-10 minutes and then serve immediately.
I added 1.5 tbsp corn flour/corn starch to the kofta mixture and the koftas did not break. However, when making koftas, just add a small ball of the mixture first in the oil and if it does not break, then move ahead with frying the rest of the koftas. If the kofta does break, then add some more corn flour to bind them well.
You may sprinkle some chaat masala on top when serving. It tastes amazing on these koftas.
The oil has to be medium hot. Too hot oil would brown the koftas quickly with the inside remaining uncooked. A less hot oil will make the koftas soak oil and become greasy. The texture in the latter case also would not be good. So with some trial and error, establish what time and setting works best for you.
If you are making these koftas for fasting or vrat. then use rock salt and substitute the corn flour with fasting flours like water chestnut flour (singhare ka atta), Buckwheat Flour (kuttu ka atta) or arrow root flour. Skip the onion and ginger garlic paste as well and you are ready to feast during fasting
If you are looking for more Vegan snack recipes, try these as below: