1. 2 medium potatoes
2. 2 small carrots
3. 1 medium beetroot
4. 1 tsp ginger paste
5. 3 tsp peanuts
6. 3-4 tsp bhaja masala
7. 1/2 tsp sugar
8. salt to taste
9. 4-5 tbsp besan (gram/chickpea flour)
10. 1 and 1/2 cup bread crumbs
11. 2 cups white oil (for deep frying)
Ingredients for bhaja masala
1. 2 tbsp cumin seeds .
2. 6 dry red chillies .
1. Roast cumin seeds and dry red chillies on low heat till the jeera turns brown and chillies dark red. Do not char. Remove from heat and dry grind in a mixie chutney jar. Thhis dark brown powder can be stored for later usage in other dishes.
2. Peel and dice the vegetables into large chunks. Pressure cook on high heat for 2 whistles. Drain the water & mash the vegetables coarsely and mix 2-3 tsp bread crumbs to help it bind.
3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a kada (wok). Fry the peanuts and drain them on some kitchen paper.
4. Now add the ginger paste, fry lightly. Add the roughly mashed vegetables, salt and sugar. Cook for 8-10 minutes on medium high heat, mashing it as you go.
5. Add bhaja masala and fried peanuts and mix. Place the mixture on a plate to cool a little.
6. Make a not too runny besan batter by adding water to the flour. A pancake batter-like consistency works for me.
7. Make little oblong chops out of the vegetable mixture using your hands. The mixture will be fairly soft so be gentle and don’t try for perfect shapes.
9. Roll it gently in the crumbs and make sure each chop is coated all over. Place the crumbed chops carefully on a plate ready for frying.
10. Heat the oil in a kada (wok). Test for temperature by dropping a little square of bread into the oil. If it rises instantly to the top, the oil is right. I confess I picked this handy tip from some other recipe. I myself check the temperature by placing my palm over the oil but then, I do know what the correct temperature feels like. Don’t wait for the oil to be smoking hot because then the crumb coat chars. (And if your oil does overheat, fry a slice of bread in it to bring the temperature down a bit.)
11. Gently fry the chops, rolling them in the oil every few minutes to fry evenly. The chop on the left is half fried and has been rolled over to let the other side fry. The one on the right has just been dropped into the oil.
12. Drain and serve hot with ketchup, kashundi (mustard sauce) and salad. Or you could, like me, gobble them up as they were.
I made about 14 chops from this amount and they came out perfect. Crisp coats and crunchy peanuts and yummy fillings. Let me know if you give them a shot. I dined that night off these chops, salad and some bread and butter.
Oh and Dipali's tip: breadcrumbs can be made by grinding torn toast or even fresh bread in the chutney jar of the mixie. Actually, she's responsible for how well these came out, given that she made the bhaja masala for me!
Edit: You can make the veggie mash firmer and easier to mould by adding some of the breadcrumbs or even a torn piece of fresh bread for better binding.