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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Vegetable Chop: Bangali'r Cha'r saathey Ta

Bengali's chop is very different from the rest of world's chop. While chop essentially means a cut of meat to the rest of the world, to us it is a deep fried ball of all things yum which goes perfectly with our late afternoon or evening cup of tea, especially during the rain-soaked monsoon months or chilly winter months.
It is amazing how a quick shower can refresh everything around you. Nature is at its vibrant best during the monsoon months. And it is just as amazing how just a cup of tea along with your cookie/biscuit/snack makes the verdant evenings all the more perfect.
When I was growing up, Moori (puffed rice) along Telebhaja (any thing deep-fried) bought from the Telebhaja shop down the street would be a popular thing to serve at least couple of days a week with the evening tea. Now that we are more health conscious, we tend to shy away from deep fried stuff and only indulge once in a while. 
How I have made these veggie chops may not be the traditional way of making it, but it sure is easy and works for us. I usually use whatever vegetables I have on hand. Cauliflower can be used in place of potatoes and it adds a wonderful taste and crunch as well. Very soon I will try out the baked version, till then we will give in to these deep fried rare treats!




Ingredients:
  • Potato - 1 big, boiled and mashed (I used russet potato and nuked it in the microwave for 5 minutes in its jacket)
  • Onion - 1 red, medium sized, finely chopped
  • Green Bell Pepper - 1, small, finely chopped
  • Carrot & Peas - 1 1/2 Cups (I used frozen that I steamed for 5 minutes in the microwave. and squeezed out excess water. You can use your choice of veggies. 
  • Cilantro - 1/2 Cup, finely chopped
  • Garlic - 2 fat cloves, minced
  • Ginger - 1 tsp, grated
  • Green Chili - 2 or more (depending on your heat preference), finely minced. 
  • Oil - 1 tbsp for cooking + enough for deep frying
  • Salt to taste
  • Garam Masala - 1 tsp, powdered (1 inch cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, 3 green cardamoms)
  • Cumin Powder - 3/4 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 3/4 tsp
  • Chat Masala - 2 tsp
  • Corn flour - 3 tbsp
  • Enough water to make a slightly runny (pouring consistency paste) of cornflour
  • Bread crumb - 4 tbsp + 3/4 Cup (for dredging)
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a heavy bottomed pan or kadai and fry the onions, minced garlic, grated ginger and bell pepper till the onions turn translucent. Add remaining veggies and fry till there is no moisture remaining. Sprinkle the masalas (Garam Masala, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Chat Masala) along with the salt and minced green chilies. Cook for a few minutes and then fold in the mashed potatoes. Fry, stirring constantly and using your wooden spoon to mash the peas a little. Once everything comes together, add the finely chopped cilantro and 4 tbsp of bread crumbs and mix well. Take the mixture off the heat and let it cool. 
While the mixture is cooling, make a paste of cornflour and water. The consistency should be such it forms a layer when the veggie balls are dunked in it. This will help the bread crumbs to stick to it. 
Make equal sized balls with the veggie mix and shape it into your desired shape. I like to flatten mine a little using the palms of my hand. Dunk the balls in the cornflour mix and dredge each in the bread crumbs. I used Italian bread crumbs which adds a little extra flavor. Whenever I am using plain bread crumbs, I like to season it with little salt and freshly crushed black pepper. 
Arrange on a plate or tray and let them hang out in the fridge till you are ready to fry them. 
Now heat enough oil in a wok or deep bottomed pan to deep fry the balls.



I am sending this recipe to Kolkata Food Bloggers Monsoon event 


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