The red that bleeds into the whorls on the fingertips must count for something when one is tackling a bunch of fresh beets. Once they’re cooked with starchy potatoes, mixed with a bunch of fiery spices and patted down for shallow frying, the specks of bright green from the zesty herbs seem to peek with a raw earnestness, vivaciously decreeing the festive spirit. The poppy seeds mingle animatedly with bread crumbs, coating these season’s special patties with a crunch that gives in to plush, piquant insides..
(Makes 20 small chops)
- 2 Medium beets
- 2 Small potatoes
- 1/2 Teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 Teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon each garam masala and black salt or chaat masala
- 6-8 Green onion stems, finely chopped
- A handful of cilantro, finely chopped
- 1-2 Green chillies, finely minced (optional)
- Salt according to taste
- 1 Tablespoon light olive oil
- Panko bread crumbs
- 4-5 Tablespoons poppy seeds
- Light olive oil for shallow frying
Clean and cut the beets and potatoes into cubes. Cook with salt and a little bit of water in a pressure cooker until they’re done, but firm (about 2-3 whistles.) Cool, drain and throw the cubes along with the dry masala powders in your food processor, pulsing until everything comes together. Mix in the green chillies (if using), green onions and cilantro, salt to taste, and the olive oil. Refrigerate for about 30 mins.
Take small scoops of the chop mix in your hands and press down gently, making bite-sized patties and roll them in the bread crumb and poppy seed mixture. Once you’re done making the patties, shallow fry about 2-3 at a time on a hot tava or skillet, flipping over at 2-3 minute intervals, using a little bit of oil on each side. Serve hot with green chutney.
- You can use the liquid from the beets and potatoes as a broth for soups
- You can also bake the patties in a 375 F oven for about 16-18 minutes, turning them over half way through so that both sides get equally crisp and brown.
- If making on the stove top, you can line them on a baking sheet and put them in a pre-heated oven to keep warm until serving time.
- These patties also freeze well – shallow fry them until they turn a light brown on each side, let cool and store in a ziploc bag with a lining of wax paper if desired. Before serving, pop them on your hot tava and cook until perfectly done, using a little more oil as needed.