|Cooked potato patty on the bottom|
Uncooked and ready for the freezer on the top
I love making savoury cakes: fish cakes, crab cakes, veggie burgers- they're great to have in the freezer, portion packed and ready for the oven whenever you are. The base recipe for these potato patties is provided by Madhur Jaffrey. I've made it my own and got to use one of my newest toys- a slider maker. Its really an 8' x 8' pan with a kind of a cutter to make twelve perfectly square patties in one "shot". Perfect size, everything "clean" and ready in no time. Here's my recipe:
To make 12 patties:
6 medium potatoes
5 tbsp split yellow peas (soaked overnight in 1 cup of water)
3 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil (safflower, grapeseed)
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno (or other fresh chili), seeded and finely chopped
1 handful of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
Boil the unpeeled potatoes. While that's going on, drain the split peas then boil them in a saucepan with 3-4 cups of water and a pinch of salt for approx. 15 minutes. Remove the peas from the heat and drain well in a colander. Set aside in a bowl and cover.
In a frypan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. When very hot, add the fenugreek seeds, and when they begin to change colour (10 seconds), add the onions and fry about two minutes or until the onions begin to turn brown at the edges. Add the drained peas, simmer for a few minutes, then add the cilantro, spinach and green chili. Keep cooking until the mixture thickens and the water has evaporated. (If the peas are not completely soft, add a little more water and continue cooking until it evaporates.)
Peel and mash the potatoes with a fork or a hand masher. Don't use an electric gadget for this and don't add butter. Mash until relatively smooth, it's ok to have a few lumps. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and mix into the potatoes.
Madhur's method of forming the patties: divide the mashed potatoes into 12 balls. Divide the pea mixture into 12 portions. Flatten each potato ball in the palm of your hand, put a portion of the pea mixture on it and cover the stuffing with the mashed potato by bringing the outer edges of the potato to the center. Make a ball again and flatten gently to have a 3" wide patty.
My way cooler method: place 1/2 the potato mixture into the bottom of the 8" x 8" "slider" pan and smooth out the layer evenly throughout. Place the pea mixture over the potato layer and smooth it out evenly. Add the rest of the potatoes and, yep you got it, smooth the top over. Take the slider "template" or cookie cutter (it does kind of look like one) and press into the pan. It will give you 12 equal, square patties- wonderful. If you don't have the slider maker, just use your own pan and a spatula to press down on the layers then cut the squares. Make sure they are all separate so they'll come out more easily.
To cook the patties, put a little oil to cover the bottom of your frying pan and heat over medium-low heat. Add a few potato patties at a time (three is good and gives you lots of room to turn them over).When they turn golden brown, it's time to carefully turn them over and cook again until golden. This should take 8 - 10 minutes. Turn the heat down if they brown too quickly.
Serve as an appetizer or with a salad or as the potato course with your favourite meat. I serve mine solo with a spoonful of homemade plum chutney (or any chutney you have on hand- tamarind, mint, etc.)
To freeze: you can either brown each of the patties and then freeze individually. These could be reheated in a hot oven, from frozen. But no need to fry again, they are already golden. Or, freeze them uncooked and brown them (from frozen) just before you are ready to serve them. Just remember to brown, then lower the temperature to give the middle enough time to heat through.
The patties in this recipe come out fantastic! Crunchy crust, creamy potatoes and great filling.
I purposely didn't add a lot of spice. But if you wanna play, you could add curry spices (garam masala, chili, cumin, etc.) or more heat (double the jalapenos or add cayenne) or even consider making the middle layer with your leftover curried vegetables, with or without beans/lentils/peas. Just taste as you go and adjust your seasonings. Voilà! Enjoy!