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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Potato Dahibada Stuffed with Veggies











































This recipe takes me back to my childhood, when I was in 9th grade and when for my Home Science (home economics) project I had to cook something that did not contain any grains or beans.

You see, in India some people do a kind of fast where they are allowed to eat fruits, veggies, yogurt, milk and potatoes, yams etc but no grains or beans. Kind of Gluten free diet if you would say.

After brainstorming a little, with my mom's help I came up with this recipe. We used to make stuffed veggie Dahibada using the same recipe except the outer coating was of soaked and ground Urad dal mixed with some Moong dal. So instead of doing the outer coat with dal based batter, we decided to use mashed potatoes.

Now the question was how to keep the vada from opening up while frying and how to avoid using flour to keep it all together. Then my mom thought of Arrowroot powder which is not made of grain. It is made from a root of a plant. It would work well to keep the potatoes from opening up in hot oil

I will put some info about arrowroot powder at end of this recipe. I must say that as a teenager then I was so proud that we succeeded in preparing this recipe without using any grains or beans and it came out perfect.

It has always been a hit ever since, whenever I prepared it for any occasion over many many years. And BTW yes, I did get an "A" on this home economics project in 9th grade ;)


Here is the recipe.




Ingredients:




For outer shell:




* 2 large potatoes Boiled and mashed

* 1 cup arrowroot powder

* 1 teaspoon salt



For stuffing



* 3 medium potatoes boiled and cubes in small pieces

* 1 onion

* 4 cloves of garlic

* 3-4 Serrano peppers

* 1 teaspoon ginger paste

* 1 cup mixed veggies cooked in microwave(frozen peas, corn, carrots, and beans cut in to small cubes)

* 2 tablespoon olive oil or any cooking oil

* 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

* 1/4 teaspoon asafetida

* 1 teaspoon urad dal

* 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

* 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

* 1 teaspoon cumin powder

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder



For additional stuffing:



* One onion chopped with 1/3 cup of chopped cilantro leaves

* 4 Serrano peppers sliced

* 1 small packet of raisin

* 30 pieces of cashews or cashew halves

* 2 table spoon Black pepper corn

* 2" piece of ginger peeled and cut in small sliced strips



For frying:


* Will need 1/2 cup of arrowroot for rolling the balls before frying them.

* Vegetable Oil for deep frying.



For seasoning and presentation:


* 6 cups of plain low fat yogurt

* 1 cup of sour cream (non fat)

* Tamarind chutney (recipe on this blog)

* Mint cilantro chutney (recipe on this blog)

* Crushed roasted cumin seeds

* Salt

* Cayenne pepper powder

* 1 Chopped onions mixed with 1/4 cup of Cilantro for garnish

* Handful of Bhel Sev (thin gram flour noodles from local Indian grocer) for garnish (I did not have it so I did not use it)





Method:



Prepare outer coating:


* Boil all 5 potatoes together in pressure cooker. Cool the pressure cooker.

* Peel and mash 2 potatoes.

* Mix the mash potatoes with Arrowroot powder and salt, until dough like consistency.


Prepare seasoned potatoes and veggies stuffing:


* Peel and cut 3 potatoes and set aside.

* Cover and set aside.

* Chop and grind onions, Serrano pepper, garlic in food processor.

* Cook frozen veggies on a steamer in microwave for 3 min.

* Heat oil in a pan, when oil is hot, add cumin seeds, and when these crackle add asafetida.

* Immediately add urad dal and sesame seeds and stir for few seconds until these are light brown.

* Add onion, chili and garlic from food processor and add ginger paste.

* Saute until onions are light brown and translucent.

* Add cooked veggie and saute for 1 min.

* Add cubed potatoes, salt, cayenne pepper powder, cumin powder and turmeric powder.

* Mix well and turn the heat off, set aside.


How to prepare Dahibada balls:


* Divide the mashed potatoes mixed with arrowroot in to little bigger than golf size balls. (this recipe will make about 15 balls. Cover with wet cloth and set aside.

* Divide chopped onion and cilantro mix in to 15 equal portions as well, set aside.

* Divide the seasoned potato in to 15 equal portions and on each portion, place 2 pieces of cashews or cashew halves, 4-5 black peppercorns, 5-6 raisins, 2-3 slices of ginger and 2-4 slices of serrano pepper on each portion. (this tedious process is to make it easier to stuff and so that equal amount of each ingredient is in each ball)

* Now take the mashed potato and arrowroot balls in palm of your hand, press it until flattens to about size of your palm.

* Place the seasoned potatoes/veggie portion with all the other stuffing and place each portion of onion/cilantro.

* Close the ball very carefully and then roll the ball in the arrowroot powder.

* Heat oil for deep frying at 375 F in a frying pan.

* When oil is hot, drop the Dahibada balls in the oil with care and deep fry until it is turned golden brown evenly.

* Place the balls on paper towels with layers of newspaper under the paper towel to let all oil soaked by paper.



Serving Instructions:



* Whisk and mix plain yogurt and sourcream until smooth.

* Place the dahibada balls in a bowl.

* Generously pour plain yogurt over it.

* Sprinkle salt, cayenner pepper and crushed roasted cumin seeds over it.

* Drizzle tamarind chutney and mint/cilantro chutney over it to taste.

* Garnish with chopped onions, cilantro and bhel sev.


A delicious savory dish is ready to enjoy :)




Hints:

* If arrowroot is not readily available you can use corn starch.

* You can follow same recipe for stuffed dahibada with outer shell made out of soaked and ground urad and moong dal. I will be posting this recipe later.

* This recipe yields about 15 Dahibada, they are pretty big in size, so you can count one per person if serving as a side dish, or if serving as only snack by it self, then can safely count two per person.



Here is some info about arrowroot:



Arrowroot, or obedience plant (Maranta arundinacea), Bermuda arrowroot, araru, ararao, is a large perennial herb found in rainforest habitats. It is cultivated for a starch obtained from the rhizomes (rootstock), which is also called arrowroot.

A perennial plant about two feet high, arrowroot has small white flowers; and fruits about the size and form of currants. The rootstocks are dug when the plant is a year old, and often exceed 1 foot (30 cm) in length and 0.75 inches (19 mm) in diameter. They are yellowish white, jointed and covered with loose scales.

The plant is naturalized in Florida, but it is chiefly cultivated in the West Indies (Jamaica and St. Vincent), Australia, Southeast Asia, and South and East Africa. It used to be very popular in British cuisine, and Napoleon supposedly said the reason for the British love of arrowroot was to support their colonies.

Arrowroot tubers contain about 23% starch. They are first washed, and then cleaned of the paper-like scale. The scales must be carefully removed before the extraction of the starch because they impart their disagreeable flavor if allowed to remain.

After the removal of the scale, the roots are washed again, drained and finally reduced to a pulp by beating them in mortars or subjecting them to the action of the wheel-rasp.

The milky liquid thus obtained is passed through a coarse cloth or hair sieve and the pure starch, which is insoluble, is allowed to settle at the bottom.

The wet starch is dried in the sun or in a drying house. The result is a powder, the "arrowroot" of commerce, and it is at once packed for market in air-tight cans, packages or cases.

Arrowroot starch has in the past been quite extensively adulterated with potato starch and other similar substances, so care is needed in selection and buying.

Pure arrowroot, like other pure starches, is a light, white powder (the mass feeling firm to the finger and crackling like newly fallen snow when rubbed or pressed)

It looks very much like corn starch, but odourless when dry, but emitting a faint, peculiar odour when mixed with boiling water, and swelling on cooking into a perfect jelly, which can be used to make a food for vegetarians very smooth in consistency — unlike adulterated articles, mixed with potato flour and other starches of lower value, which contain larger particles.

In US I found it at local GFS store. You can order it from Amazon too.


Info on Arrowroot source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrowroot
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_Creative_Commons_Attribution-ShareAlike_3.0_Unported_License

Recipe by Surekha's mom Mrs. Kasturben and Surekha
Photographs by Suerkha.

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