Pithod and Bengali spiced vegetable cakes

4
1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

Pithod

  • 210g of gram flour
  • 345g of Greek-style yoghurt
  • 60g of water
  • 1/2 tbsp of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp of green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp black onion seeds
  • 1/4 tsp carom seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil

Vegetable cakes

  • 50g of ghee
  • 1/2 tsp black onion seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cauliflower, medium, finely chopped
  • 125g of French beans, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 30g of raisins
  • 2 cooked beetroots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 potatoes, medium, boiled, peeled and grated
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 150g of dry white breadcrumbs

Spice mix

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 dried chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 green cardamom pods, seeds only

To finish

  • oil, for deep-frying
  • Kasundi mustard sauce, mixed with tomato ketchup, or any chutneys or sauces of your choice

Method

1
To make the pithod, place all the ingredients (apart from the oil) in a saucepan and mix well. Place over a low heat and cook, stirring regularly, until the mixture thickens into a batter. Oil a tray with sides at least 3cm high and pout the mixture into it, levelling it out with a spatula if needed. Set aside to cool, then cover and place in the fridge to chill and set completely
  • 210g of gram flour
  • 345g of Greek-style yoghurt
  • 60g of water
  • 1/2 tbsp of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp of green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp black onion seeds
  • 1/4 tsp carom seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
2
Toast all the ingredients for the spice mix in a dry frying pan until fragrant, then blitz in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Set aside
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 dried chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 green cardamom pods, seeds only
3
To make the cakes, heat the ghee in a heavy-bottomed wok. When hot, add the onion, fennel and cumin seeds along with the bay leaves. When they begin to crackle, add the onions and sauté until golden
  • 50g of ghee
  • 1/2 tsp black onion seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
4
Add the carrots, cauliflower and French beans and sauté for 4 minutes. Add the spice mix, chilli powder and ground cumin and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cauliflower, medium, finely chopped
  • 125g of French beans, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
5
Add the raisins and diced beetroot, cook for a minute, then stir in the salt, sugar and grated potatoes. Continue to cook until evenly mixed and everything turns a reddish brown from the beetroot and becomes shiny from the ghee (around 3-4 minutes). Leave until cool enough to handle
  • 30g of raisins
  • 2 cooked beetroots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 potatoes, medium, boiled, peeled and grated
6
Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts (discarding the bay leaves), then shape into patties. Dip each one in the beaten eggs and then the beetroot, then place on a tray in the fridge until ready to cook
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 150g of dry white breadcrumbs
7
When ready to cook the snacks, heat a deep-fat fryer or deep pan of oil to 180°C. Cut the pithod into 1.5-inch squares (or any shape you wish)
  • oil, for deep-frying
8
Working in batches if needed, deep-fry both the pithod squares and the cakes for around 3-5 minutes, until crisp and browned on the outside. Drain on kitchen paper and serve immediately with chutneys or ketchup
  • Kasundi mustard sauce, mixed with tomato ketchup, or any chutneys or sauces of your choice