Monday, 16 July 2018

Kumara patties - easy, vegan and a triumph!

I made these last night for a friend who wanted something made with kumara (sweet potato), and without dairy products, wheat, sugar or beans.  That stripped back the vegetarian possibilities quite considerably and I had to think hard about what I could do.  Most of the recipes I use and share are derived from those of other people, but this recipe I can truly call my own. 

With patties I'd usually expect to include breadcrumbs, flour and egg, but these worked perfectly and the flavour and texture were excellent. 

The patties, although needing to be handled carefully when turning, showed no tendency to fall apart, and the cornmeal coating did not stick to the pan at all.  The result was a deliciously crisp-on-the-outside, moist-on-the-inside combination, which could be eaten with the fingers almost as well as with a fork. 

Ingredients and method - very simple:
I'm sure these would freeze perfectly well - prepared and uncooked.  Defrost before frying though, to ensure they heat through evenly while the outside crisps and browns:
  • Kumara - 250 grams - about 1 and a quarter cups - cooked, left to cool, then mashed
  • Rice - white Basmati - 125 grams - about two thirds of a cup - a little overcooked and cooled
  • Parsley - a tablespoon or two - very finely chopped
  • Walnuts - 50 grams - coarsely chopped
  • Salt to season
  • Cornmeal / polenta / corngrits, fairly finely ground but still a bit grainy - about a quarter of a cup.  Put the cornmeal into a dish in which the patties can be lightly pressed to coat them.
  • Mix all the ingredients exept the cornmeal thoroughly and shape into patties using a spoon and your hands.  It's not a sticky mixture. 
  • Once they are the size and shape that you like coat the outside with the cornmeal.  Mine were about 4 cm in diameter, and the mixture made 14 patties. 
  • Shallow-fry in vegetable oil until lightly browned and heated through.
Here is a batch ready to go into the freezer:


I served the patties up with a tomato sauce which I relate here as an experiment I might refine another time.  It was made from  finely chopped and sauted onion and capsicum, and basil, a tin of tomatoes, about a cup of water, seasoned with kikkomen and salt, then thickened with the same fine cornmeal.  I wasn't sure about the quantity of cornmeal to use and added a bit much, resulting in a rather porridgy sauce, which might have been better as the base for a soup!  It was okay though. 

The patties didn't really need the sauce however, and another time I think would be better teamed up with salad. 

Although I've only made these patties this one time our household has firmly raised the flag of triumph and they will now be part of my everyday repertoire - easy, delicious and nourishing - yay!!!

Here is a photo of the cornmeal to give you and idea of it.  It's not a particular clear one though.  The spoon is a teaspoon: 


My other recipes and food articles can be found here:
Looking for other ideas about what to serve for your vegetarian meal?  Here is my list.  Some are vegan:
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