Friday, October 17, 2008
I decided to make some lentils fritters after seeing Bee's enticing post last week. I commented on her blog and she was kind enough to email me and to tell me about an alternate way to eat Urad Dal Croquettes.
I purchased a special pan for the sole purpose of making the delectable fritters I have seen in various posts on Jugalbundi. I am a minimalist in the kitchen, moving will do that to you, but I am hoping to put that pan to good use.
I took her concept and messed with it a bit. I just can't help myself. The lentil batter screamed out for mango chutney and more spices.
Another confession-- I bought the pan two months ago and today was the first day I actually used it. I had visions of the most perfect little croquettes emerging from the egg shaped cavities of my new iron pan. Reality hits you hard when you are delusional. Bee must know something I don't because my little morsels of joy were not as pretty as hers but they were delicious.
The double batch I made came in handy when halfway through, I experienced a case of fryer's guilt and wondered what would happen if I baked the rest instead. I set the oven on 500F to simulate the high heat you get from frying and opted for my muffin pan to shape the lentil batter into patties. It only took ten minutes to bake them and I have to say that the results were excellent.
The fried croquettes were crisp on the outside and fluffy inside. The baked ones were more pancake like but still moist and flavorful. Either cooking method yields superb results, in my opinion, and goes so well with the yogurt sauce.
Urad Dal Croquettes with Yogurt Sauce (serves 4)
Urad dal is white but it's really black lentils without their outer skins (available in any Indian food store).
1 cup of urad dal, soaked for 4 hours
2 tablespoons mango chutney
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
Oil for frying
Yogurt Sauce (see below)
Drain the dal but reserve about 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid. Put all the ingredients and the soaking liquid, except for the cumin seeds and cilantro, in a blender. Process until smooth then add the cumin seeds and cilantro and mix.
Fry in a pan by putting a well-rounded tablespoon of the batter for each croquette in the hot oil. Flip to brown on all sides.
Or to bake them instead:
Preheat the oven to 500F.
Oil a muffin pan. Fill each muffin cup about 1/3 full. Bake for about 10 minutes or until set and slightly puffy. The edges will look golden brown. Do several batches if necessary.
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp salt
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and serve with croquettes.
The fried croquettes are wonderful fresh but don't make good leftovers. As time goes by, the oiliness comes out. If you want to make this recipe ahead of time consider baking the batter into patties instead of frying them. They'll keep longer that way.
Here are other Indian recipes for your enjoyment:
Pea Vine, Zucchini Patties with Yogurt Sauce