It has been raining intermittently and the streets are slick and shiny, something I’m happy to be able to observe from the warmth of my home. My thoughts have turned towards the big holiday staring us in the face. Thanksgiving had rounded the corner and is hurtling towards us at breakneck speed. It is the season of gratitude and there are always reasons to be thankful and we are. Thankful for family & friends. For the roof over our head that keeps us out of the rain. For the food we eat that we cook in our warm kitchen. For the plants that grow in our backyard and instill a sense of wonderment for nature and her incredible workings each time we’re in there. For the seashore that is a stone’s throw away from where we live and that is my source of unending inspiration. For the ability to breathe in the warm fragrance that rises from the soil with the first rains.
Mostly this month, we’re grateful for this incredible opportunity to interact with you.
If we’ve gotten so far with this blog, it is only because of all the encouragement we have gotten along the way. Each and every one of all you fabulous readers, thank you so much for returning here and giving us a shout out when you have. To everyone who has said a kind word about this space or has taken the time to praise and appreciate our efforts, we are grateful you choose to spend time with us. We appreciate this opportunity of sharing our food with you. It is day 20 of NaBloPoMo and I have to admit to fatigue. I used to write posts that I could at least give an editing once-over to, but this month that hasn’t been possible. It has been a practice in speed writing with all these past month’s posts. With days spent at work, I seem to finish just before midnight every night. I’ve been cutting it close. Perhaps the pace is catching up with me, because I was staring at this blank space for the longest time before I got even these words down. I’m finding a way to power through, which is good because it is after all why I joined the challenge to begin with. This is not a sprint, it is a marathon. The point of a marathon, for me at least, is to finish, but finish well, still as eager about it as I was when I began, despite the tiredness. Your encouragement makes the late nights all worthwhile.
You might of course, be thinking that when a food blogger thinks of Thanksgiving, they think of the biggest food holiday of the year. That would be true, but any celebrations we participate in are non-traditional food-wise. We’ve never really liked turkey, though we are one hundred percent behind mashed potatoes. Also roasted, boiled, fried, really any kinds of potatoes. But mashed potatoes are something special. They are great by themselves, or make amazing topping for things. They are a great team-mate on any team. I thought I’d seen them in every possible form, the perfect lead or supporting act. But during my tryst with dhansak this week, I found one act I had not seen them perform. The disappearing act.
That is what they do with these kababs that are supposed to be a traditional accompaniment to dhansak. The recipe calls for two potatoes to be boiled, mashed and mixed in with the chicken or meat of your choice. I thought that would create a patty somewhat similar to that of traditional potato patties, only with potato running through instead of on it. But this kabab does not do that. The potato, it disappears completely, softening the patty somehow, leaving you with a wonderfully tender chicken kabab. The coriander and dhansak masala used here create a ridiculously flavourful patty. Don’t get all creative and try to grate your chillies into this as I did. Don’t know what I was thinking. I wonder if my colleagues were alarmed as they kept finding me in the kitchen this morning running cold water over my red hands. It was not my intention to seem so Lady Macbeth about it all.
If you steer clear of the grated chillies, this is a quick, easy, stellar recipe. I’m going to serve them as appetizers the next time we have company. They’re so good, I could eat them all by myself.
Adapted lightly from My Bombay Kitchen by Niloufer Ichaporia King
Makes about 20
Ground chicken – 1-1/2 pound
Potato – 1, medium
Sweet potato – 1
Onion – 1, medium, finely diced
Green chillies – 4, finely chopped
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tsp
Cilantro – big handful, finely chopped
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Egg – 1, lightly beaten
Dhansak masala – 1-1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for shallow frying
– Peel and boil the sweet potato and potato until they are tender.
– Mash the potatoes, then mix together with the onion, chilli, ginger-garlic paste, cilantro, turmeric, dhansak masala, egg, chicken and salt.
– Using damp or oiled hands, shape the mix into about 1-1/2 to 2 inch flat rounds.
– Cover the base of a non-stick or cast iron skillet with some oil. Then shallow fry the kababs, 4-5 minutes on each side.
These keep great for a couple of days in the fridge as well.