Hello Sweetpeas!!! Happy Diwali and a joyous new year to you all. Diwali and holidays brings a air of peace and joy in the air. We all automatically find time to shop and dress for the events and even deck up our homes. Holidays also means meeting old friends, spending time with them and family reunions. Most Hindu homes also find themselves refraining to cook with onion, ginger and garlic and eat only satvik food, that are comfort foods. My granny uses to lay importance of such foods especially after Diwali time where we hog endlessly on sweets, fired snacks and rich gravy based food. As we all know India is a rich country with its vast culture and many castes and communities. It is believed that the language and food changes every 100kms distance. So true, its always My home its cooked in this way and my village its cooked in this way...each house strongly holds to its recipes, spices and traditions.Since we had a family who practices Jain Religion and adopts their food habits, we had to accommodate the special food restriction for them. One such religion is the Jain religion where no food is consumes that is grown below the earth like roots, potatoes, yams and such, this would also include onion, garlic and ginger.
As per Wiki; Jainism
is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul toward divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state of supreme being is called a jina ("conqueror" or "victor"). The ultimate status of these perfect souls is called siddha. Ancient texts also refer to Jainism as shramana dharma (self-reliant) or the "path of the nirganthas" (those without attachments or aversions).
Each religion has its norms and suggested food habits. Hinduism relies strongly on principles based on Ayurveda which emphasis on consuming all senses of taste in our food, sweet salty, sour and spicy each has a job to play in our mood, digestion and well being. Food is like a language that we speak differently yet communicate well beyond set national boundaries and walls.
For Potlucks, we try and please everyone by making some dishes that are essentially Jain recipes meaning no onion, no potato, no garlic. I was allotted the appetizer part of the dinner menu. Now if you know me, I am handicapped if I have to cook with no potatoes, no garlic and no onion. I always use these specially for the appetizers. I troubled my trusted blogger friends Manasi of Cook @Heart and Neelam of Kanes Coop for ideas. They gave me multiple options, making me think of how lucky I am to be around such amazing chefs. Only if I was half as talented as these girls. I take time to plan, sort and weigh my options. They work like a light bulb spreading light at the switch of the button.
I decided to take 2 appetizers for a crowd of about 10 adults and 6 kids. Since I was bringing along store brought Spring rolls, that all our kids love, I decided to do a onion/garlic free appetizer. This Hara bhara kebab is truly a keepsake recipe and believe me, it is fast to make as no deep frying and no need of boiling potatoes and grating ginger and garlic is called for. I liked Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe better than Tarla Dallal except for the fact that he used boiled potatoes for binding. So I combined the two recipes and used the ingredients form both of them as per my need. The taste and the texture was to die for. The kebabs tasted light and mildly spiced making it great as a starter and yet not filling our tummies as to not indulge in heavenly dinner spread.So the next Potluck you are invited to or any starter that you may need, don't look back, make and enjoy these kebabs.
You will need;
1 cup chopped blanched spinach, drained
1 cup green peas boiled for 3 mins in microwave
1/2 cup boiled drained, chana dal/ Gram Dal/lentil
** To make the chana dal, take the 1/2 cup dal with enough water and pressure cook til AL-dente and once the pressure cools off, drain and remove the water as much as possible.
1/2 cup bread crumbs
5-6 sprigs Basil
2 tspn sesame seeds
2 tspn Amchur/Dry mango powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
2 tsp Jeera /Cumin Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Red Cayenne Chili Powder
Salt to taste
Oil to fry
In a mini chopper, chop the boiled spinach and peas, alongwith the boiled drained chana dal and pulse it a few times to incorporate an even mixing..
Take the mixed spinach and green peas with the dal mixtures and add the sesame seeds, bread crumbs, basil, spices powder and adjust salt. In a shallow fry pan, grease the pan well, and fry the kebabs of the mixture. I needed to make uniform kebabs so I opted to make them in a cookie cutter and shallow fry them. But you can also deep fry them, but the bread crumbs soak a lot of the oil and make it not so healthy.