When I was just starting my teen years both my sisters lived in Calcutta (now called Kolkata). As a result, I spent many a vacation in the eastern Indian metropolis. If there is one thing Bengalis like more than their Rabindra Sangeet (music written and composed by the Nobel Laureate Rabrindranath Tagore), it is food. Kolkata is a foodies haven. From the pastries at Flury’s to Kathi Rolls at Nizam’s, Kolkata has it all.
One of the delicacies of Kolkata is a Chop. Now, this is nothing like a lamp chop. It is a patty that is made either with vegetables or meat and then rolled in breadcrumbs and deep fried. Typically eaten with a radish salad and ketchup, it is delicious. I recall many a happy afternoon spent drinking tea and eating Vegetable Chops.
Readers may recall I had got a bunch of beets a few weeks back from the Farmer’s Market in McKinney and had used some to make some Quinoa Beet Burgers (recipe here). As I was revisiting the residents of my fridge lately, I came across the leftover beets. The burgers had turned out quite well but I wasn’t ready to repeat a recipe. Wondering what else to do with them I started thinking (a difficult exercise for me at the best of times). And then it came to me – Vegetable Chops. Possibly the only Indian dish I know that uses beets. And so, a few searches later, I found this (click here) as a starting point. I took the recipe, tweaked it a bit and then, instead of deep frying the chops, pan fried and then baked them. They were great.
Here goes. A bit approximate but it should give you a general idea. Enjoy.
NOTE: You can make these bite-sized and serve them as an appetizer with ketchup as well.
INGREDIENTS (for eight veggie burgers)
5 smallish medium white potatoes – boiled and peeled
3 small beets – boiled and peeled
2 carrots – boiled and peeled
1 tsp cooking oil
1 inch ginger – peeled and finely chopped
1/2 onion – minced
1.5 tsp cumin seeds
3 dry red chilies
3/4 cup cooked white rice
1/2 cup roasted peanuts – chopped coarsely
1 Tbsp cooking oil
1 large egg – beaten
Bread crumbs (I used Panko)
1. Mash the potatoes, beets and carrots. Set aside.
2. Heat the oil (1 tsp), fry the onion and ginger till onion starts to brown. Mix with the potato mash.
3. Dry roast the cumin and red chilies till they just start to smoke. Grind and mix with the potato mash.
4. Add the rice and peanuts to the mix as well as 1/2 of the egg.
5. Salt to taste.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
7. Meanwhile on a non-stick saucepan (or cast iron skillet) heat the 1 Tbsp oil.
8. Make burger-sized patties, dip them in the egg and coat them with bread crumbs.
9. Pan fry the patties on both sides till they are starting to brown. Then lay them on a greased cookie pan and stick them in the oven for 20 minutes.
10. Use as you would any burger patty and add whatever fixin’s you like.